Furious Zulum slams military over ‘routine’ attacks on travellers in Borno | Ripples Nigeria
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Furious Zulum slams military over ‘routine’ attacks on travellers in Borno

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The Governor of Borno State, Prof Babagana Zulum, has lashed out at the military over what he termed incessant attacks on travellers and villagers by Boko Haram insurgents along the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway.

This is not the first time the governor is attacking the military over gaps in the fight against insurgents. Earlier in the year, the governor had criticised the military for falling short in their effort to secure his state, especially the terror-prone Baga area of the state.

The governor stated this when he visited Jakana, one of the major towns along Maiduguri-Damaturu highway, on Monday, faulting the army for Friday’s abduction of over 30 travellers.

According to Zulum, it was disappointing that the majority of the attacks within the last two years, took place between Auno and Jakana, a distance of about 20 kilometres.

A statement by the governor’s spokesman on Monday titled, ‘Friday abductions: Zulum visits Jakana, furious over routine attacks on Maiduguri-Damaturu highway …Baffled with army’s failure to secure 20 kilometers’, qouted him as saying: “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 support from both the federal government and from us in Borno state, our military is failing to secure an area of 20 kilometers, which is the distance between Auno and Jakana.

READ ALSO: Zulum meets Chadian president on evacuation of Nigerians back home

“And incidentally, the 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 the Boko Haram?”

Continuing, Zulum condemned the army and his own state government established rapid response squad which combines well-equipped policemen, vigilantes, and local hunters, for lack of visibility along the Maiduguri-Damaturu road.

“With all you (journalists) we drove from Maiduguri to here, 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,” the governor was qouted as saying further.

Governor Zulum also recalled that this year alone, the insurgents carried out many attacks along Maiduguri-Damaturu-Kano road, including the one in February, in which over 30 persons, including a nursing mother and an infant, were burnt to death as travelers.

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