* Expresses readiness to deploy hunters if military cannot secure Baga
By Bode Olushegun
Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on Thursday, expressed readiness to deploy hunters if military cannot secure Baga.
The governor, who expressed his displeasure over the attack on his convoy by the Boko Haram terrorist group on Wednesday, said should the military not be able to secure Baga, he would deploy hunters to do it.
His words: “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 not stop to 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.”
He said: “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 military authorities in a statement by the spokesman of the Army, Col. Sagir Musa, who confirmed the attack on the convoy of the governor, admitted that the Governor had earlier paid a visit to the Commander, 19 Brigade at the Nigerian Army Super Camp Baga where he was fully briefed about the prevailing security situation in the general area.
Narrating the ordeal of the convoy, the Special Adviser to Governor on Media, Isa Gusau, said his principal embarked on a trip to Baga area of the state based on information provided by soldiers that they had liberated the town from the hold of Boko Haram insurgents.
Gusau, while speaking in an interview on BBC Hausa Service on Thursday, monitored by our correspondent, said the governor and his team were in good condition.
Although the spokesman said he was not in the governor’s convoy but stressed that the soldiers, before the trip, had assured the governor, who was on a humanitarian mission to Baga, that the town was no longer taken by the insurgents.
He said, “I was not there physically. The governor was heading to Baga from Munguno because the soldiers told him they have liberated Baga from the control of Boko Haram.”
But along the way, the insurgents opened fire on the governor’s convoy and everyone scampered for their lives.
Gusau explained that some of those in the convoy including policeman, government officials, amongst others, sustained injuries in the process.
“They crawled for a distance on their knees. They sustained injuries. The Boko Haram insurgents were shooting,” he added.
Meanwhile the governor returned to the state capital on Thursday afternoon aand was expected to celebrate the Eid-el-Kabir in Maiduguri with the rest of the Muslim faithful.