Nigerian troops have reportedly closed the only safe highway that leads into Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, following a series of attacks on the route by Boko Haram insurgents in the last 48 hours.
Though reasons behind military’s decision to close down the road have not been made clear, sources that Ngamdu, a boundary village between Borno and Yobe state, located along the Maiduguri-Damaturu Highway, was attacked last night.
Motorists disclosed that they were stopped from plying the route early Wednesday, January 9.
There are six major highways that takes travellers in and out of Maiduguri. But with the capture of territories and displacement of residents from their communities in 2014, all the five roads were closed by the military due to security concerns.
A military source said the vehicular movement on the Maiduguri-Kano Road have been extended down to Potiskum, a town in Yobe, which is about 235km away from Maiduguri.
Confirming the development, a commercial cab driver who normally plies the route, Ali Vectra, said: “We have stopped loading passengers because the soldiers have closed the road, which makes it impossible for us to travel in or out of the town.”
Saidu Bappa, a business man in Damagum, a local government headquarters in Yobe state, which is about 68km away from Damaturu, confirmed that the road between Damaturu and Potiskum has also been closed down.
He said, “Normally, the road is closed at night and opened for vehicular movements at 6am everyday,” he said.
“But we woke up this morning to find out that the road remained closed from Potiskum to Damaturu.”
The development has hundreds of vehicles and travellers stranded on the either sides of the road.