Zulum Escapes Another Attack On Baga-Monguno Road

A file photo of Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum. Photo: [email protected]

 

The convoy of Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum again came under attack earlier on Sunday on his way out of Baga.

Zulum had departed Baga at about 10:30 after a two-day visit to receive indigenes of the town back home after 21 months of exile.

Few kilometres away from Baga, unknown assailants believed to be Boko Haram opened fire on the escort of the governor.

The convoy was being escorted out of Baga by the military who replied the gunshots and cleared the way for the governor.

READ ALSO: At Least Five Security Officials Killed As Boko Haram Attacks Borno Govt’s Convoy

The attack happened barely 48 hours after Borno State Government officials were ambushed on the same route while travelling to Baga to join the governor who had flown in via an Air Force chopper.

Reporters on the ill-fated convoy say sixteen persons were confirmed dead while the whereabouts of an unspecified number of people can still not be accounted for.

Members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) working with the state government’s resettlement committee to clear shrubs from the road for clearer vision, also reportedly disappeared after the attack.

READ ALSO: Zulum Saddened By Killing Of 11 Security Personnel – Spokesman

Zulum said in an interview in Baga before taking his leave, that he is saddened by the lives lost during the Friday attack, and pledged to support their bereaved families.

READ ALSO: Buhari Condemns Attack On Zulum’s Entourage

The governor has since arrived Maiduguri, the capital city after successfully performing the resettlement issue that took him to Baga.

 

Zulum Redeems N20m Pledge To Family Of Late Col Bako

A file photo of Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Executive Governor of Borno His Excellency Prof Babagana Umara Zulum has redeemed his pledge to the family of Late Col DC Bako and the 3 other soldiers that died with the senior officer in the course of defending the country.

This is according to a statement by the army spokesman, Colonel Sagir Musa.

According to Colonel Musa, the governor redeemed the pledge when he visited the wife of the fallen hero, Col Bako this morning in Maiduguri.

“He was received by the Acting GOC, 7 Division Brig Gen AK Ibrahim. The Governor consoled the wife and family members of Col Bako and prayed for the repose of the late senior officer and the 3 other soldiers who paid the supreme prize along with him. He described him as a great patriot and formidable commander,” Colonel Musa stated.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Army Colonel Killed By Boko Haram In Borno

The governor used the opportunity to present a cheque of 20 million naira to Mrs. Bako, which he earlier pledged and also promised to redeem his pledge of getting the family a house.

The governor also donated 2 million naira each to the families of the 3 deceased soldiers; they are – Lance Corporal Nwobuji Desmond, Lance Corporal Adebiyi Oluwaseye, and Private Aliyu Ibrahim, whom he described as gallant and patriotic soldiers par excellence.

Colonel Musa noted in his communique that the Theatre Command Operation LAFIYA DOLE hereby on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, officers, and soldiers of the Nigerian Army extends its immense appreciation to the governor for the kind gesture.

The army spokesman assured Nigerians that the Nigerian Army is continuously determined and committed to ending terrorism and other insecurities in Nigeria.

Zulum Approves 84 Doctors, 365 Nurses, Others For Borno Hospitals

A file photo of Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum. Photo: [email protected]

 

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum has approved the engagement of 84 medical doctors, 365 nurses and midwives, 45 pharmacists, and 100 health technicians and other support staff, making 594 personnel being added to Borno’s healthcare sector.

Zulum announced the recruitment on Monday in Maiduguri at the end of a meeting with Borno’s public healthcare stakeholders attended by the Chairman of Borno Assembly’s Committee on Health, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Salihu Kwayabura, Chairman, National Association of Nurses and Midwives, Umar M. Shettima, and heads of the State’s Health Management Board, Contributory Health Scheme, and Primary Healthcare Development Agency amongst other stakeholders. The meeting held at the Government House.

Of the 365 nurses and midwives, the Governor explained, half were fresh graduates of colleges while the others were recruited from experienced persons who had retired from the Borno civil service after years of serving in hospitals as nurses and midwives. Zulum said they have now been recruited on contract.

READ ALSO: FG Begs JOHESU To Suspend Strike, Come To Negotiation Table

On the 84 medical doctors, the Governor said, some were recruited as permanent staff while some are being engaged on contract and sabbatical services.

Zulum noted that the 45 pharmacists and 100 technicians and supportive staff he approved, would work in laboratories and other diagnostic sections as key components of the health sector.

The Governor said the far-reaching decision, aimed to drastically increase the number of healthcare professionals across Borno State so as to bridge existing gaps in citizens-doctors and nurses ratio and to eventually match the increase of hospitals and primary healthcare centres in the state, 51 of which were established by the administration.

Zulum also announced that he had given approval for the State College of Nursing and Midwifery to begin annual foundation programmes that will aim to admit 200 student nurses and midwives annually. He said the foundation will commence with initial 135 student nurses, with five drawn from each of Borno’s 27 local government areas.

The Governor said the State will however enter an agreement with all students who will enjoy steady payment of allowances, that upon graduation from colleges, they will not leave the State, until after working in the State’s health sector over a period of time, for which they will be paid like other workers.

Zulum also announced that the State will soon embark on aggressive construction of new staff quarters for doctors, nurses, and midwives, to encourage productivity.

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Kwayabura, pledged the commitment of all stakeholders in the health sector to improved access to quality and affordable medical services in line with Governor Zulum’s development objectives.

Borno Governor Blasts Army Over Convoy Attack

 

The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum has confronted the army over an attack on his convoy in Baga, a town in Kukawa local government.

Governor Zulum had departed Maiduguri, the state capital on Monday afternoon for the northern part of the state in continuation of the food distribution programme which he started earlier in July.

On Wednesday, he was scheduled to visit Baga, a fishing town on the shores of the Lake Chad region which has been under the control of insurgents for many years until the military declared its liberation, insisting no Nigerian territory is under the control of Boko Haram.

But, few kilometers to Baga, gunmen opened fire on the Governor and his entourage.

The Governor was forced to retreat as security operatives on escort duties repelled the attackers.

READ ALSO: Borno Governor’s Convoy Escapes Attack In Baga

A furious Zulum confronted the Commanding Officer in Mile 4, mincing no words in expressing his disappointment at the inability of the military to rid Baga and environs of insurgents.

“You have been here for over one year now, there are 1,181 soldiers here; if you cannot take over Baga which is less than 5 km from your base, then we should forget about Baga. I will inform the Chief of Army Staff to redeploy the men to other places that they can be useful,” Zulum said.

“You people said there’s no Boko Haram here, then who attacked us?”

The Governor has since returned safely with his entourage to Monguno where the distribution of palliatives continues.

Borno Governor Blames Military For Attack On Travellers

 

Thirty persons have been reported killed after Boko Haram insurgents attacked stranded travellers in Borno on Sunday. 

Witnesses say the victims arrived at the military checkpoint leading into Maiduguri after the closure time set by the Nigerian Army, hence the travellers were left stranded and had to pass the night in the neighbouring village Auno, with hopes of continuing their journey at dawn.

The witnesses said the terrorists raided in the dead of night, killing dozens and destroying many vehicles.

They also claimed that many persons were abducted.

Army faults travellers

In reaction to claims by the witnesses, the Head of the military counter-insurgency operation in the North-East (Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole), Maj. Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, said the figures dished out were misleading and incorrect.

“The report that 30 people died is misleading. It is inciting and it is totally false,” Adeniyi told newsmen.

The army commander also blamed the travellers arguing that they were not attacked when the road into Maiduguri was open.

He stated that those who ply the road know that the military had set 5pm as the time for closure of the gate.

“These are people that are not supposed to be on the road and it is not only at Auno that we are having this problem,” the General stressed.

He revealed the Maiduguri/Damaturu Road would now be closed by 4pm in order to protect lives and property.

Zulum berates army

Disagreeing with the military, the Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum fault the army’s handling of the situation in Auno.

The governor accused the army of deserting Auno after 5pm daily, saying it was this practice that gave the insurgents a chance to wreak havoc on Sunday.

He said, “We made several attempts for Nigerian Military to establish their unit in Auno, they are here in Auno but as soon as it is 5 o’clock, they close the gate, lock the people out and they go back to Maiduguri, that is what has been happening”.

The governor asked the army to ask its personnel to relocate back to Auno.

He urged the military to keep its officers at the checkpoints and ensure that they man the gate, adding that when this is done, then the government can now tell members of the community to return.

Professor Zulum noted that if the military cannot get their personnel to hold the forth at Auno, then they should speak up so his government can do something about the situation.