In a somber acknowledgment of Nigeria’s deteriorating security situation, the Defence Headquarters has depicted the recent bombings in Borno State as a grim indication that the nation is slipping into a state of war. This unsettling disclosure came through a statement from Major General Edward Buba, the Director of Defence Media Operations, who elaborated on the horrifying events that resulted in multiple casualties in the Gworza Local Government Area over the weekend.

Major General Buba’s statement on Tuesday recounted the sequence of violent incidents, emphasizing the severe implications for the country’s security landscape. “Given that we are in a state of war, it must be recognized that this despicable act is a response to recent successes in ongoing military operations. Indeed, our recent operations have decapitated the leadership of the terrorists, depleted their resources, reduced their support base, and diminished their influence,” Buba stated.

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The terror attacks, which involved multiple Person-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (PBIEDs), more commonly known as suicide bombings, began with a harrowing incident around 3:00 pm. A female suicide bomber, disguised as a beggar, infiltrated a wedding reception on Mararaba Hausari Street and detonated her device, causing devastating loss of life and injuries.

Tragically, as rescue operations were underway to stabilize and transport the injured from the initial explosion to medical facilities, a second suicide bomber struck at approximately 5:00 pm. This attack occurred on the same street, compounding the already dire situation and adding to the chaos and despair.

In an immediate response to the escalating threat, troops imposed a curfew on the community to contain the situation and prevent further casualties. However, amidst these efforts, a third explosion targeted the troops enforcing the curfew. This attack was executed by another female suicide bomber, resulting in the deaths of a soldier and two members of the hybrid forces.

A potential fourth attack was narrowly averted when vigilant troops identified the suspect early. The bomber detonated her device prematurely, making herself the sole casualty. Despite this, the cumulative toll of these attacks was devastating: 20 people lost their lives, and 52 others sustained varying degrees of injuries and required medical treatment.

Major General Buba emphasized the profound sorrow felt by the armed forces over the loss of life, both civilian and military. “The sad loss of lives is a tragedy for society, the community, and the nation. On behalf of the Chief of Defence Staff, General CG Musa, officers, and members of the armed forces, we express our condolences even as we mourn with all who have lost loved ones. We also commiserate with all victims needing healing and recovery,” he expressed.

The Defence Headquarters condemned the terrorists’ actions, characterizing them as cowardly attacks designed to project an illusion of strength amid their decline. Buba urged citizens to see through the terrorists’ tactics aimed at creating panic and disillusionment among the population. “Citizens must see through the smokescreen of the terrorist. We must realize that terrorists aim to counter reports of their weakness and create panic in the general population. The military is aware that in this phase of their ending life-cycle, the terrorists are desperate to attract attention, bolster relevancy, mobilize new recruits, reduce support for the armed forces, and diminish support for the government.”

In a call for unity and vigilance, the Defence Headquarters urged citizens to support the armed forces’ efforts to secure and stabilize the nation. “The fate of the terrorists that perpetrate this insecurity will be violent and short as troops will stop at nothing to take them out of the battlefield,” Buba concluded.

This series of tragic events underscores the critical need for continuous and robust efforts to combat terrorism and restore peace in Nigeria. The resilience and cooperation of the populace, alongside the determined actions of the military, are essential to overcoming this dire period and moving towards a secure and peaceful future.