Defence Headquarters, DHQ, has confirmed reports that Boko Haram terrorists, again at the weekend, took over Marte town in Borno State but quickly assured Nigerians that there was no cause to be worried.
In a statement posted on its website, the DHQ said insurgents fleeing military offensive were looking for hiding places and found Marte, which had been deserted, as a safe haven.
It assured Nigerians that troops had taken steps towards addressing the untoward development.
The statement said: “There has not been any static deployment of troops in Marte for quite sometime,” adding that the measure was in line with the need to focus on aggressive patrol of many threatened isolated communities while assault on forests and mountain hideouts of terrorists was ongoing.
It said: “Only occasional patrols and surveillance have been undertaken towards the area as the bulk of troops are engaged in the operation to clear the terrorists from all identified enclaves in the forest.
“Besides, Marte had been deserted by citizens most of whom had fled to other towns while others are in Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs’ camps located in Maiduguri and other places. It is understandable that terrorists escaping from the offensive operations in Sambisa and other enclaves are looking for a place of respite,’’ DHQ said.
According to the statement, the terrorists must have found Marte deserted and decided to stay there.
“Now that their presence is reported, the issue will definitely be addressed in a very short while. There is really no cause for alarm in the way some reports are presenting this situation as if it is a meaningful resurgence of terrorists.
“This will only fool the terrorists and their sympathisers into false celebration. There will certainly be no respite for terrorists anywhere in Nigeria,” DHQ stated.

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