SWITZERLAND, JULY 30 – The Nigerian Army has responded to the Boko Haram attack on the convoy of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, saying it was “an isolated incidence.”
Zulum, had escaped death after some gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram fighters, ambushed his convoy at Baga on Wednesday. The incidence happened months after the Nigerian military declared Baga liberated from the terrorists.
According to media sources, the governor was on his way to some internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in the northern part of Borno when the incident happened.
A viral footage of the incidence shows security forces accompanying the governor’s convoy lying on the floor and returning fire to the attackers.
However, in a statement released on Thursday afternoon, the Nigerian army said the attack on the governor’s entourage was “an isolated incidence”.
“Although, details of the unfortunate incident is sketchy and under investigation, efforts are ongoing to comb the area where the incident occurred with a view to track down and deal decisively with the attackers. An investigation is also in progress to identify the circumstances that led to the attack.
“Regretably, 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 re-occurance.
“Additionally, Nigerian Army wishes to inform the general public that it will continue to discharge its responsibilities professionally with respect for the fundamental human rights of all Nigerians and in compliance with the extant rules of engagement. The good people of Baga town and indeed the entire Borno State are enjoined to continue to provide credible information that will assist the security agencies to successfully combat terrorism as well as apprehend and flush out the perpetrators of the attack,”the statement reads.
Meanwhile, Governor, Babagana Zulum has confronted the army over the attack.
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.