Borno state governor, Babagana Zulum, has threatened that if the military does not step up to secure secure Baga and other communities in the state, he would be left with no choice but to engage local hunters to protect the beleaguered state.
Zulum’s convoy was attacked on Wednesday by Boko Haram terrorists in Baga while on his way to some internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Kukawa local government area of the state.
After donating 12 patrol vehicles to security operatives in the area, Zulum also flagged off the reopening of the Monguno-Baga highway after a two-year closure.
The governor expressed concern that weeks after he was briefed by the military authorities who assured him that Boko Haram elements had been flushed out of Baga, the terrorist still mobilised enough resources to attack his convoy.
“We have over 1,181 soldiers in Baga; 72 officers, 107 solders, 400 soldiers in mile 4 and 1,900 soldiers in Monguno. I see no reason why Boko Haram will stop operate in Baga town,” the governor said in frustration.
“The troops have been in mile 4 for over one year, there is complete sabotage, the problem is not with President Buhari, or General Burutai but the command and control structures. There is need to look into command structure.
“We have over 80,000 IDPs in Monguno, they cannot continue to depend on NGOs and others for food, we have created opportunity for them to go back to their communities and continue with their business and farming activities.
“After Sallah, we will go back to Kukawa. We we will give time to the military; but if they will not clear Baga, we will mobilise our hunters and vigilantes to recapture Baga… we can’t continue like this. People have take their destiny in their hands.”
In his reaction to the attack,army spokesperson, Sagir Musa, said details of the incident were sketchy and that efforts are ongoing learn more about the incidence.
“An investigation is also in progress to identify the circumstances that led to the attack,” he said.
“Regrettably, this is an isolated and most unfortunate incident that occurred in a territory where normalcy has since been restored with socio-economic activities picking up. The Nigerian army wants to reassure the general public that this will be interrogated with a view to forestalling future recurrence.”
Parts of Borno and several communities in the North East have been under the grip of Boko Haram terrorists. Tens of thousands have been killed and millions fled their homes.