Saturday, December 2, 2023

Zulum to army: If you can’t secure Baga, we’ll mobilise hunters to do the job

Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno, says if the military is unable to secure Baga, he would engage hunters to keep the town safe.

On Wednesday, Boko Haram insurgents attacked his convoy in Baga, while 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 soldiers, 400 soldiers in mile 4, and 1,900 soldiers in Monguno. I see no reason why Boko Haram will stop operating in Baga town,” he said.

“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 a need to look into the command structure.


“We have over 80,000 IDPs in Monguno, they cannot continue to depend on NGOs and others for food, we have created an 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 will give time to the military; but if they will not clear Baga, we will mobilize our hunters and vigilantes to recapture Baga… we can’t continue like this. People have taken their destiny in their hands.”

Reacting to the attack, Sagir Musa, army spokesman, said details of the incident are 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,” he said.

“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 recurrence.”

Over the months, the governor has had face-offs with the troops in the state.

In January, he accused troops of extorting road users and the following month.

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