Nine officers of the Nigeria Police Force who were earlier reported missing after scores of Islamic State West Africa Province, ISWAP fighters attacked the Police Mobile Force Training College in Borno, have been found.
Naija News understands that the officers were declared missing on Thursday moments after the insurgents raided Limankara, Gwoza in Borno.
The heavily armed gunmen were said to have launched rocket-propelled guns on the police school for almost two hours and subsequently overwhelmed officers on guard.
However, barely 48 hours after the attack, the police instructors were sighted heading back to their camp.
Speaking on the attack earlier, the Borno State Commissioner of Police, Mr Abdu Umar, had told newsmen that the school was truly attacked but denied the abduction of the police officers.
Contrary to the CP’s report, a source who reportedly spoke with the PUNCH told journalists that nine out of the 21 instructors in the school went missing after the insurgents broke into the college.
It was further alleged that the military failed to send reinforcements despite the fact that an army checkpoint was located not far from the school.
According to a senior police officer who spoke on the incident, the attackers came from three angles, adding that they would not have overrun the school had there been reinforcement.
PUNCH reports that the policemen ran out of ammunition and later resorted to smoke gas which prevented the terrorists from entering the college for some time.
He said, “From Gwoza town to Limankara is just 15km and there is an army formation there. The policemen said they called for reinforcement but there was no response. Nine instructors were kidnapped out of the 21 instructors in the camp.
“The place wasn’t fortified, the authorities only repaired the fence that was damaged by the terrorists during previous attacks. They were about restarting training there before this latest attack.”
The officer added, “If there was coordination among the forces, reinforcements can get to the training school within five minutes because there is an army checkpoint around that place. You know it is between Madagali and Gwoza, that place is the border between Adamawa and Borno but it is under Borno. So, there is a checkpoint close to the place. If the school has a standard armoured tank, there is no way the insurgents can breach the camp.’’
The senior officer recalled the short time reinforcements took during a peacekeeping operation in Mali.
He noted, ‘’When we were in Mali on a peacekeeping operation when we called for reinforcement whenever we were under attack; from Bamako to our location is one hour, 45 minutes but within a few minutes, the reinforcement will be there. But in Nigeria, it is the next morning reinforcement would come.
‘’The instructors ran out of ammo and the insurgents were using RPGs and the policemen did not have any RPG. It was the smoke gas that helped the instructors to resist the attacks for some time. Rivalry (between the security forces) is the issue. Nobody came to the rescue of the men from 8:00 pm when the attack started till around 10:00 pm.’’
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