Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum, has condemned the recent abduction of 30 travellers in the state and blamed the military for not doing enough to protect people in the state.
The governor flayed the army and the rapid response squad in the state comprising policemen, vigilantes and hunters for their failure to secure the Maiduguri-Damaturu Road, which has become a major axis for attacks and kidnappings.
The governor, during a visit to Jakana, one of the major towns along Maiduguri-Damaturu highway, on Monday, said 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.
He noted these in a statement titled ‘Friday abductions: Zulum visits Jakana, furious over routine attacks on Maiduguri-Damaturu highway …Baffled with army’s failure to secure 20 kilometres’.
The statement quoted the governor 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 kilometres, which is the distance between Auno and Jakana.
“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 kilometres, how can they keep us with the hope they will defeat the Boko Haram?”
He continued, “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 travellers plying this busy and important road,” the governor noted.
He said there have been many attacks by insurgents along the Maiduguri-Damaturu Road in 2020 alone, including the one in February in which over 30 travellers were burnt to death.