MAIDUGURI, North-East, Nigeria – Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, on Monday visited Jakana, one of the major towns along the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway, over last Friday’s abduction of over 30 travelers.
He berated the military and the state owned established Rapid Response Squad combined with well equipped policemen, vigilantes and local hunters, for lack of visibility along the Maiduguri-Damaturu road, which he believed, makes it feasible for Boko Haram to keep running it show in the same axis and on multiple occasions.
Zulum who expressed concern on what has become routine attacks on travelers and villagers by Boko Haram on the highway; said it was disappointing that majority of the attacks within the last two years, took place between Auno and Jakana, a distance of about 20 kilometers.
“I have had occasions to defend the Nigerian military in order to boost the morale of commanders and their troops at the front lines because I know the true picture of things.
“However, I am really disappointed that despite all supports from both the Federal Government and Borno State, our military is failing to secure an area of 20 kilometers, a distance between Auno and Jakana.
“And incidentally, majority of Boko Haram’s attacks along this Maiduguri-Damaturu-Kano road, keeps happening between Auno and Jakana.
“So, if the military cannot secure 20 kilometers, how can they keep us with the hope they will defeat Boko Haram?” he queried.
According to the Governor, “With all 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 travelers plying this busy and important road,” he lamented.
Zulum said in 2020 alone, insurgents have carried out many attacks along the Maiduguri-Damaturu-Kano road, including the one in February, where over 30 persons including a nursing mother and an infant were burnt to death.
He however assured the citizens that he was going to immediately convened a security meeting and hopefully come up with more measures to secure the highway.
He urged them to continually support the military by sharing information that would generate credible intelligence on the activities of insurgents in the state.