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Zulum Condemns Attack On Borno Travellers, Says Army Has Failed

Blessing Tunoh  
Updated December 21, 2020
A file photo of Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum. Photo: [email protected]

 

Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, says the Nigerian Army has failed in its duty to protect the people, especially travellers plying major roads in the state.

He condemned what he described as the routine attacks on travellers and villagers by Boko Haram insurgents in the state.

The governor stated this on Monday when he visited Jakana, one of the major towns along the Maiduguri-Damaturu Highway where some travellers were killed, and others abducted on Friday last week.

He said it was disappointing that the majority of the attacks within the last two years took place between Auno and Jakana towns, a distance of about 20 kilometres.

“I have had occasions to defend the Nigerian military in order to boost the morale of commanders and their troops at the frontlines because I know the true picture of things.

“However, I am really disappointed that despite all support from both the Federal Government and from us in Borno State, our military is failing to secure an area of 20 kilometres, which is the distance between Auno and Jakana,” he decried.

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Governor Zulum added, “Honestly speaking, we are not happy; the Nigerian Army has failed in discharging their responsibility of protecting the commuters … majority of Boko Haram attacks along this Maiduguri-Damaturu-Kano Road keep happening between Auno and Jakana.

“So, if the military cannot secure 20 kilometres, how can they keep us with the hope they will defeat the Boko Haram?”

 

He also berated the Nigerian Army and the Rapid Response Squad, comprising well-equipped policemen, vigilantes and local hunters, set up by the Borno State government.

According to the governor, the security teams lack visibility along the Maiduguri-Damaturu Road which makes it feasible for Boko Haram to keep running their show in the same axis and on multiple occasions.

“With all of you (journalists), we drove from Maiduguri to Jakana, we did not see soldiers on the road; we did not see even our own Rapid Response Squad on this road, and they were trained, employed, kitted and paid to protect all Nigerians within their areas of operation and these Nigerians include travellers plying this busy and important road,” he said.

Governor Zulum lamented that in 2020, the insurgents have carried out many attacks along the Maiduguri-Damaturu-Kano Road, including that of February in which over 30 people, including a nursing mother and an infant, were burnt to death.

He, however, assured residents along the road that he would convene an emergency security meeting to come up with more measures to secure the highway.

The governor urged them to continually support the military by providing information on the activities of insurgents.