About 2,000 security operatives and military hardware, including fighter jets have been deployed to Maiduguri ahead of yesterday’s declaration of State of Emergency.
In neighboring Yobe State, it is not clear how many soldiers were deployed but residents said shortly after the declaration of state of emergency, stop and search operations have been intensified in the state capital while movement have been restricted in other places.
Residents said the deployment of the federal troops, including the army, navy, air force and operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) began at the weekend.
“We started sensing danger on Saturday when we saw military trucks conveying soldiers to the Joint Task Force (JTF) headquarters along Pompomari area,” Usman Jika, a resident of Maiduguri said.
“By Sunday morning, so many roadblocks have sprung up in the state capital and there was noticeable cordon and search of houses by new faces (soldiers),” he said.
A resident of Kumshe, one of the red spots in Maiduguri said his neighbour was beaten to pulp on Sunday when soldiers besieged the areas and forced all the people out of their houses.
“All the soldiers that came to the neighborhood appeared new in the town, some of them said it is now time for ‘fire for fire” he said.
Another resident said he saw military aircrafts landing at the Maiduguri International Airport and the air strip at the Air Force base in the state capital.
“A lot of fighting equipment have been deployed to Maiduguri,” Hajja Maimuna, a resident of Gomari, whose house is close to the Air Force base said.
“We are really terrified because the military operatives coming to Maiduguri in the last two days far outnumbered those that came during the previous emergency rule,” she said.
“Even though the state governor has not been removed, which is good, the truth is that Maiduguri is now a garrison town, full of angry soldiers who are ready to kill at the slightest provocation. The deployment will definitely hamper social and economic life of the people,” she said.