Fewer than three days after members of Boko Haram terrorist group attacked the convoy of Governor Babagana Umara Zulum along Cross Kauwa-Baga road in Borno State leaving over 30 persons dead including 10 policemen and 4 soldiers, the insurgents yesterday attacked the governor’s convoy along Monguno-Maiduguri axis while returning to the state capital in the evening.
The latest attack came as five soldiers abducted during Friday’s attack on the Governor Zulum’s convoy have been found dead in a bush around Cross Kauwa.
According to security sources, the insurgents abducted the five soldiers in an Armored Personnel Carrier, APC, who were later slaughtered and dumped in the bush.
Their bodies, according to the sources, were recovered in a search and rescue operation, which was still ongoing at press time.
It was gathered the death toll from the attack has continued to rise as more bodies were either recovered from the bush or died at the hospitals. But the Army, in a statement by the Coordinator Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, maintained only 18 security operatives, including 10 policemen, four soldiers and four civilians were killed in the ambush at Barwati village.
Monguno where the latest attack took place, is north and about 80 kilometres drive to Maiduguri. It is the town housing thousands of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs mostly from Marte, Baga, Kukawa, Dikwa and other surrounding Local Government Areas.
Sources said, the attacker shot at the back tyre of the vehicle/bus conveying Journalists attached to the governor, but the driver maneuvered and drove the vehicle on the flat wheel to escape the scene. Although, details were sketchy at press time, one of the occupants/Journalists in the affected bus who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Vanguard that the convoy ran into another Boko Haram ambush about 50km away to Maiduguri.
Unfortunately, the Journalist phone went off due to poor network, but investigation revealed that no casualty was recorded in the latest attack. Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, has condemned the attack on the security convoy of Governor Zulum by Boko Haram terrorists and killing of 10 policemen and 8 other persons A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba said, “The IGP has also directed the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of the Police Medical Services, Olubunmi Ogunsanwo to work in sync with the Commissioner of Police, Borno State Command CP Bello Makwashi and the Police Health Maintenance Organisation (HMO) towards ensuring adequate provision of Medicare for the officers injured during the attack.
“While condoling the families and friends of those killed during the attack, the IGP reassures the country, particularly the people of Borno State that the morale of Police officers and other security agencies involved in providing security especially in the State has not and will not be dampened by the incident.
“Rather, the incident has further served as impetus in strengthening the resolve and commitment of the personnel of the Force in the fight against insurgency and other crimes” he said. “The IGP therefore calls for the continuous support and trust of the public in the Nigeria Police Force as it strives to make the country safer and more secure.” Meantime, the Defence Headquarters, yesterday said 13 Boko Haram terrorists alongside six women and 17 children from Kodila village, had surrendered to troops of 151 Task Force Battalion at Banki Junction in Bama Local Government Area of Borno.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major.-General John Enenche, in a statement, said the terrorists surrendered due to sustained aerial bombardment and aggressive intensive clearance operation by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole in the North East. He said the suspects and their family members who surrendered on Saturday, had been receiving medical attention at a military medical facility. According to him, the suspects are currently undergoing thorough profiling and investigation in line with global best practices in handling such cases.
“The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies remain resolute, determined and committed to sustaining the tempo of the operations,” he said.