Residents who fled Damasak, a town in Borno State, to the Niger Republic, have gradually started returning to the area, a military source told SaharaReporters on Friday.

The source, who spoke with SaharaReporters, said the governor of the state, Babagana Zulum, spent the night in Damasak to ensure the security of his people.

He said people who fled due to the various attacks by Boko Haram insurgents in the past week, have returned and some vowed never to go back to the Niger Republic. 

The source stated that some of the returning residents alleged that they were raped and molested by soldiers in the Niger Republic. 

He said some of them swore that they would rather be killed by Boko Haram in Damasak than return to the Niger Republic where they were subjected to various inhumane treatments by soldiers and citizens.

He said, “The governor visited Damasak town on Thursday and slept over. He is still around. The man really loves his people. He has gone around the town on foot to see the extent of the damage caused by the Boko Haram attack. 

“Zulum brought more equipment for the people and so many people are returning. The Brigadier-Commander tried to convince Zulum that people are still in the area but Zulum came to see things by himself. He is not someone that can be deceived.

“Some of the people who returned said the Niger Republic soldiers molested and raped them. Not only soldiers, but even citizens of the Niger Republic also harassed them just for the few days they spent there.

“Many of them have vowed not to go back to Niger again, that they rather die in Damasak than to go anywhere again.

“They are all happy seeing their governor around, and more people are coming back.”

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