The Oasis Reporters
December 26, 2017
In the aftermath of series of security disasters in Mubi, a border town in Adamawa state, north east Nigeria, a nervous military has ordered a complete lock down of the town, said to be the second largest after Yola the state capital.
Barely a month ago, 105 persons were killed in Mubi and Numan in vicious boko Haram attacks.
In the same month, over 50 lives were lost in a suicide bombing with scores injured, claimed to be the biggest blast ever in Adamawa state.
There are mixed reactions which have trailed the military lock-down of the town during the Christmas celebrations. While many applaud it as a necessary measure owing to the series of attacks it has experienced that has been inflicted by Boko Haram insurgents, the people are willing to forsake their liberty and save their lives.
There was a restriction of vehicular movement on Christmas Day until after 12 noon while commercial cyclists operation has been suspended until Wednesday for security reasons.
While some residents of the commercial border town on Monday said any step taken to protect lives was a welcome one, others said the step was too harsh on the public.
One of the reasons given for the support of the lock-down include the recent suicide bomb attack on worshippers in a mosque in Mubi, an event that might have prompted the military to take the unprecedented action.
However, some others said the measure was too harsh as it looked more like punishing the people rather than protecting them while seeing no basis for closing the town for three days in the name of security precaution, describing the approach as crude.
For instance the commercial tri-cyclists (Keke-Napep), the major source of movement in an around Mubi, carrying goods and people. The operators depend on their daily shuttles to have enough to feed their families with. Grounding them down would often be seen as a loss of economic activity for three days despite huge family responsibilities in the face of a declining economy that has suffered from the ravages of the boko Haram Insurgency. That would be some form of unmitigated setback in that sector, residents opine.
This was one major factor that brought criticism to the measure that made it seem as too harsh because businesses suffered losses first by Keke NAPEP drivers and even the commuters who were compelled to walk long distances with their luggage leading to loss of several man hours as a result of the lack of transportation in the town.
Most churchgoers found it extremely difficult to walk long distances in their new shoes to church, slowing down their joy during a festive season.
However, private cars were allowed to move around as from 12 noon, but not everyone is so endowed, therefore the plea was that the common mode of transportation for the large majority of ordinary people should have been allowed to operate as well.
The Adamawa State Police Command said the Christmas celebration went on smoothly across the state. The command spokesman, SP Othman Abubakar, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN that so far there was no report of any security breach. Abubakar, who reiterated the commitment of the police and other security agencies to ensure hitch-free Christmas and New Year celebrations, urged the public to be more vigilant and security conscious.