Boko Haram Attacks: Governor Zulum Has Not Accessed His Village Since 2014- Analyst

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Gov. Babagana Umara Zulum
Gov. Babagana Umara Zulum

Twice in one year, Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has hauled hot coals on the military authority for their ambivalent role in failing to dislodge Boko Haram terrorists who have massacred and displaced thousands in the state.

Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum blamed Nigeria soldiers for the February 9 attack by Boko Haram that killed more than 30 stranded travellers.

“I am being pushed to the wall to say the truth. Since my inauguration as the governor of Borno State from May 29th to date, Auno town has been attacked for about six times now. And the reason is that the military has withdrawn from Auno town,” the governor said in anger.

Again, Zulum expressed disappointment in the Nigerian Army after his convoy ran into an ambush in Baga area and was attacked by Boko Haram terrorists on Wednesday, July 29, 2020.

The Governor was on his way to some Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps to supervise the distribution of palliatives when the attack happened.

Although the military repelled the attack, and the governor escaped unhurt, some people in his convoy sustained injuries.

In a filmed confrontation with a military Commanding Officer, the governor said he had been assured there was no Boko Haram presence in Baga before he commenced on his trip.

The governor said, “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 five kilometres from your base, then we should forget about Baga.

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

The governor further accused the Army of sabotage, and lamented that the lives of those displaced by Boko Haram have been halted because of the failure to secure their communities.

He said, “We have created opportunities for them to go back to their communities and continue with their business and farming activities.

“After Sallah, we are going to allow people to go back to Kukawa and we will give time to the military.

“If they will not clear Baga, we will mobilise our hunters, CJTF, and vigilantes to recapture Baga.

“We cannot continue like this. People have taken their destiny in their hands.”

Army spokesperson, Colonel Sagir Musa, described the attack as an isolated incident in a statement released on Thursday, July 30.

“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 re-occurrence,” he said.

The colonel said troops are currently combing the area to track down and deal with the terrorists behind the attack.

Boko Haram’s insurgency in the northeast region kicked off in 2009 with the sect vowing to carve out a caliphate out of Nigeria and at some point controlling dozens of territories which it later lost over the years.

Despite its activities being significantly subdued by the military over the past few years, the group, alongside its influential faction the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), is still terrorising parts of the northeast and surrounding border areas in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger.

The group has killed over 30,000 people and displaced over 2.5 million people.

Meanwhile, Babajide Otito-Ju, news Director in TVC NEWS, Lagos has stated that Governor Zulum has not entered his village, Zulum in Monguno Local Government Area of Borno State since 2014.

The Governor who was born in Mafa Local Government Area of Borno State hails from Zulum in Monguno LGA.

Otito-Ju, an analyst in the station stated this during a programme tagged: Journalists Hangout in the television station on Thursday night, July 30, said Zulum is one of the villages in the state commandeered by the Boko Haram insurgents.

According to him, the Governor is worried that the insurgents are occupying large expanse of land in the state and expected the military hierarchy with more than 1,000 soldiers to dislodge them to enable the people to return home.

He said only three villages close to Maiduguri are inhabitable by the people while others spanning more than 180 kilometres to Borno state capital are controlled by the insurgents.