Three Years After Attack, Naval Base Returns To Baga
The Borno State Government has announced that the naval base in Baga has been reopened as part of efforts to boost security in the Lake Chad region.
Governor Babagana Zulum announced this during a media briefing on Friday after a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the statehouse.
According to him, he informed the President that the Chief of Naval Staff had ensured the return of the naval base to Baga last month, requesting additional support from the President to appropriately deal with the rising number of ISWAP members operating in the southern and northern part of the state.
The Baga naval base was attacked by Boko Haram insurgents in December 2018.
The terrorists carted away a cache of arms and ammunition from the armoury, forcing Nigerian troops to withdraw from the region.
But in June, Governor Zulum urged the military to reopen the base saying it had become necessary to secure farmers in the Lake Chad region.
He further maintained that in view of the relative peace experienced within the state, the President had given an assurance to provide support towards ongoing efforts to return Internally Displaced Persons to their ancestral homes.
He added that the state has concluded arrangements to shut down all IDP camps within the Maiduguri metropolis by December 31, 2021.
Governor Zulum also stated that earlier in the year he had survived many attacks numbering over 40 by insurgents in the state.
“I was attacked more than 40, 50 times,” said the governor while responding to questions from reporters. “I know the magnitude of this problem.”
He decried the impact of the over one decade-long insurgency which he said has gravely affected the livelihood of the people of the state.
“We have estimated a total number of over 50,000 orphans and widows; these are official figures, the unofficial figures are more than these, and we were able to cultivate not more than three per cent of our total arable land because of the insurgents.
“And right now, the whereabouts of not less than 10 per cent of the people of Borno State is not known to all of us – at all. This is a very serious matter,” Governor Zulum lamented.