| By Olu Ojewale |
THE year could be best described as perhaps, the bloodiest year since Boko Haram began its campaign of terror in 2009. Throughout the year, the Nigerian military was engaged in a fierce battle with the imperious insurgents in the North-East. While the Nigerian security agencies were intensifying their assaults on Boko Haram terrorists, the fundamentalists appeared to be more nefarious in their terror activities. The sect carried out two major attacks that shocked the nation and caused international uproar on April 14. First it was a baffling attack on Nyanya Bus Terminal, near Abuja, where a twin bomb attacks killed 75 persons. While security agencies were still battling on ways to unravel the jigsaw, the sect in another attack abducted more than 200 schoolgirls from Chibok Federal Government Secondary School, Borno State. The abduction invoked an international condemnation and led to the establishment #BringBackOurGirls campaign, which has been receiving international sympathy with leading advance countries offering various kinds of assistance.
Nevertheless, there was no let up in the activities of the sect which carried out series of bomb blasts, even using underage girls as bombers in various parts of the North.
- Between January and March of the year 2014, 18 communities were attacked by Boko Haram insurgents and more than 17,000 persons were killed. Kenneth Minimah, a lieutenant-general and chief of army, disclosed at a news briefing in Abuja. Among those killed in March were 59 children in Yobe State. In one of the incidents, insurgents attacked Air Force base and set ablaze some military facilities.
- On May 1, more than 30 persons and several others injured in the attack on Kashi Taxi Park in Abuja.
- Boko Haram Islamic fundamentalist group claimed responsibility for the attack on fuel depot on Creek Road, Lagos in which two persons were killed, on June 25.
- Also on Wednesday, June 25, a bomb blast rocked Emab Plaza, an Abuja shopping mall, killing 21 persons, including Suleiman Bisalla, managing editor at New Telegraph
- Less than two weeks after the killing of Bashir Mohammed, who claimed to be Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Boko Haram sect, another video was released by the sect on Thursday, October 2, claiming that he was not killed by the Nigerian military.
- Two female bombers struck at Federal College of Education, Kotangora, Niger State, killing one person and injuring many others.
- Fifteen persons were killed and several others injured when insurgents attacked two communities in Borno State on October 17.
On October 17, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, chief of defence staff, announced ceasefire agreement with Boko Haram insurgents. But two weeks later, the sect denied any agreement even as it stepped up its attacks on North East of the country.
- Fulani herdsmen slaughtered 31 persons in some parts of Wukari Local Government, Taraba State on October 19.
- Boko Haram insurgents freed 366 prisoners during their raids on Mubi town in Adamawa State, on Thursday October 30.
- Suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked Central Motor Park in Gombe State on Friday, October 31, killing more than 30 persons.
- Between July 27, 2009 and October 2014, Ope Fitinikun, spokesman of Nigerian Prisons Service, disclosed that Boko Haram sect had released 2,255 prison inmates from various facilities across the country. Fitinikun made the disclosure at a news conference in Abuja, on November 5.
- On Sunday night of November 2, Boko Haram insurgents in a raid on Kogi prison, freed 145 prison inmates.
- Mararaba, Michika, Madagabi, Mubi and Vintim towns were captured by Boko Haram insurgents in October and declared Islamic rule in those places before Nigerian military recaptured them early in November.
- A Police station at headquarters of Nafada Local Government, Gombe State was attacked and set ablaze on Tuesday, November 4.
In November, there were series of bomb attacks in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states. Almost 100 people were killed. There was even an attempt by Boko Haram insurgents to take over Damaturu, capital of Yobe State.
- On November 10, 47 schoolchildren were killed in a terrorist attack on Government Comprehensive School, Potiskum, Yobe State. At least 98 students and teachers were injured in the attack.
- Boko Haram insurgents infiltrated an Islamic procession of members of the Shia’a muslim Brotherhood at Potiskum, killing 26 persons on November 13.
- Two female bombers killed more than 30 people in an attack on Monday Market in Maiduguri, Borno State, on Monday, November 24.
- At least one prison warden was killed when gunmen stormed the Federal Prison in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State on Sunday night of November 30. Twenty sniffer dogs were killed in the attack in which more than 100 prison inmates escaped.
- Nigeria suffered one of its bloodiest terrorist attacks on Friday, November 28, when two bombs exploded outside the Central Mosque of Kano city, killing more than 100 people. Some of the terrorists also attacked with guns as people were trying to escape the blasts.
- On December 1, Boko Haram practically put Damaturu, capital of Yobe State, under siege in an attempt to seize the Government House in the state. Many people were killed in the attack and several others injured. On the same day, insurgents attacked Maiduguri killing two persons.
— Jan. 5, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT