Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has told the Nigerian Army he would engage hunters and vigilantes to keep Baga safe, if the military is unable to secure the town.
On Wednesday, Boko Haram insurgents attacked the governor’s convoy in Baga, while he was 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.
Zulum, who had earlier been briefed by the troops that Baga was free of Boko Haram insurgents, returned to ask what led to the attack on 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 still operate in Baga town.
“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,” the governor said.
Reacting to the attack, Army spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa, said details of the incident are still sketchy and efforts are ongoing to comb the scene of the attack.
“An investigation is also in progress to identify the circumstances that led to the attack.
“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 investigated with a view to forestalling future recurrence,” he said.