The Value News

How Prof. Zulum, Borno state Governor, Escaped Death Along The Maiduguri-Baga Route In A BokoHaram Conceived Ambush Attack

By Stephen Ubanna

 Nigeria may have been thrown into darkness  on Friday, September 25, 202020, as the Abubakar Shekau led Islamic Fundamentalist Group, Boko Haram fighters , laid ambush on Babagana Zulum , a Professor and governor of Borno state  Convoy along the Maiduguri  –  Baga notorious route, killing some  of the governor’s security Personnel back up.

The breakdown of the security Operatives and other Borno state government officials who had gone to Baga to join the governor who were said to have come under the fire power of the Insurgents shows that 16 persons were confirmed dead while the whereabouts of an unspecified number remained nknown. The Insurgents may not have succeeded in hitting at their target, Zulum, because had flown into the Baga fishing Community via an Air Force Helicopter. The initial reports had it that only 11 security Operatives, made up of eight policemen and three Civilian Joint Task Force, JTF, members were killed in the BokoHaram ambush attack.

Zulum, and the top  state government Functionaries and Lawmakers, both at the state and Federal level,  were said to have visited the Commercial town of Baga, after taking  all the precautionary security measures for their safety  on a tour  of the construction work going  on in the town .  

He was said to have been accompanied by Abubakar Kyari, a Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Borno North,   Mohammed Tahir and Bukar Gana Kareto, both members of the Femi Gbajabiamila led House of Representatives.

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 The two Federal Lawmakers who  were  said to be Representing  Marte,Monguno, Ngazai, and  Mobbar, Kukawa, Guzamala, and Abadam Federal Constituencies respectively may have been disappointed over what they saw   along the Maiduguri – Baga route ,as the Boko Haram fighters,almost claimed their life in a well conceived ambush.

Even   Abdulkarim Lawan ,Speaker of the state House of Assembly and Kaka Shehu  Lawan, a Lawyer and Commissioner for  Justice were  said to be part of the governor’s entourage who were  said to have escaped by the whiskers.  

The reconstruction and rehabilitation of the fishing Community, the Value News was informed was part of the  bold initiatives of the   Zulum Administration ” to undercut  the Insurgents  long use  of the Commercial  town  as the main  transit  for its fishing trade  and tax Administration  to fund their murderous activities  in the state’’. The visit to the fishing Community may have given the governor th e oportunity  to access the progress of work done and to commend the Lawan led Committee for”the quality and speed of work’’.

The Baga fishing Community, according to military sources is the largest  on the shores of the Lake Chad with water ways with the  neighbouring West African country  of Chad, which many believe was very strategic to the Insurgent’s Operations.

Air Force Bomber Jets Attacks Of BokoHaram Camps

 Recall that the Insurgents had taken over control of the town on December 28, 2018, after several clashes with the military. The terrorists were said to have carried attack on the troops of the 7 Brigade  of the Multi- national Joint Task Force, MNJTF,,at Baga town. they were said to have overpowered the soldiers, forcing them to flee, thus paving the way for the Insurgents  to hoist their Flags over the town while assuring residents of their safety.

This may have put Borno, on the International map as a state with  two distinct Administrations, one governed  by the Republican Constitution and another by the Islamic law.   This may have informed why  the terrorists were determined  to defend  the town by resorting  to guerrilla tactics  to frustrate the security Operatives  from from laying  claim of having  reclaimed the Community.

,  It is on record that in one of such Boko Haram  attacks on the Baga Community   in 2018, the terrorists were said to have  damaged 3,700 structures or put simply destroyed Baga town  and Dron Baga , and allegedly killing over 2000 people.

In spite of Zulum, the Borno state governor confirmation of the Insurgents    control of the Borno Commercial town over the last 21 months, the military could not take it, insisting that they have   reclaimed the town.  

This may have emboldened Zulum, the Borno state governor to embark on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the town to facilitate the return of the runaway residents in order to decongest Munguno and Maiduguri, of the Baga refuges. The governor  had inaugurated a Resettlement Committee on August 31, 2020, under the Chairmanship of Lawan, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly  which is handling the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the damaged  Baga town project.

Zulum: Governor of Borno state Ambushed By Insurgents

the governor had told those that cares to listen that ”Baga  town was  displaced by  the BokoHaram Insurgents  21 months ago’’.

 Isa Gusau, the Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the governor had said  that the attack  on the governor’s Convoy at Baga town  had ‘’saddened him because of the unfortunate  carnage’’. Appealing to the people of the state to remain calm even in the face of the tribulations, the governor had  urged them’’ to  believe that with sustained efforts, Borno will eventually regain peace’’.

An aggrieved Zulum, who could not hide his feelings lamented, that the situation in the north east state is tough but the people must   choose  between doing something now  which gives the people of the state some hope or doing nothing that may leave  them more vulnerable ‘’to the Insurgent’s  ultimate wish to take over Borno and bring it under  BokoHaram  Soveriegn  brutal administration’’.  

BokoHaram In Control Of Baga But The Army Denies It

  There is no gainsaying the fact that last July, the Borno state governor’s convoy  were attacked by the Boko Haram Terrorists, forcing the governor to lambast the soldiers over the  lapses in the security arrangement of Baga town.  The governor has every reason to tongue lash the soldiers.This is because of their ‘’inabilityto rid Baga and its environs of the Boko Haram Insurgents’’.

 The July  attack on the  Borno state governor’s Convoy   had occurred on his way  to some Internally Displaced People’s Camps in the northern part of the state. Although, the attack was said to have been repelled  by the security operatives but there were said to be  causalities on the side of the governor’s entourage, fueling speculations making the rounds that the Insurgents had infiltrated the ranks of the Borno state state government and the military to get security information.

Many believe that the  recent  attack on the Borno state  governor’s security back up personnel may have encouraged President Muhammadu Buhari, who has condemned the it, to give a matching order to Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, a General and Chief of Dendense Satff, CDS, and the service Chiefs, to match on the terrorists and put the security situation in Baga and Borno state in general under control.

The Katsina state born Nigerian President had dscribed that attack which occured on the Maiduguri – Baga route,”as an orchestrated sabotage against the long well planned return of the displaced persons of Baga and other local Communities to return.

 This may have informed why the Air Task Force of Operation Lafya Dole under subsidiary  Operation Hail Storm 2, at the instance of Abuabakar Sadique, an Air Marshall and Chief of Air Staff, to come out smoking .

The Air Task Force  personnel, were said to have destroyed the Insurgents Camps in  Tongule, Bone and Isari B. Musa areas of the  war turned kukawa local government Area of the state. The Air attack in Tongule were said to have been carried out  on Thursday, September 24, 2020,  after a Surveillance mission revealed   continued Assembly of the Terrorists  within the settlement at nighttime, neutralizing several of them.

The Air wing of the Operation Lafya  were said to have also  attacked Isari B, Musa   on Friday, September 25, 2020, in quick reaction to the attack on the Borno governor’s entourage.

 John Enenche, Air Task Force   of Operation Lafya Dole, spokesperson said the strike at Bone, a settlement along  the Yale –Kumshe  axis  , was carried out by a force package  of Nigerian Air Force, NAF, fighter jets and helicopter gunships after credible intelligence reports  that the established location   served as a staging area from where the  terrorists launch attacks.  The hundreds of the  Isari B. musa terrorists  who were said to to have been observed  within and forests  surrounding the settlement. The fighter Jets were said to have were said to have reduced the terrorists Camps to rubbles  as the NAF  attack jets took turns in engaging the target areas.


Stephen Ubanna

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September 2021

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