By Tada Jutha, Maiduguri
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state has indicted the Nigerian Military and Police over insecurity to lives and property in the state.
The indictment was triggered yesterday Monday with the multiple attacks and kidnapping of 35 people by Boko Haram last Friday.
Auno and Jakana, 20 and 40 kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital, were severely attacked by insurgents between 2014 and 2019, losing over 100 lives with the torching of many vehicles and houses.
While speaking at Jakana, and scene where 10 people were killed, with the torching of Dangote truck and three other vehicles, he said: “It’s very disheartening and embarrassing to note that innocent commuters are being constantly killed and kidnapped along the Maiduguri/Kano road, particularly the 132-kilometre Maiduguri/Damaturu road.
“It’s also annoying to note that those atrocities are being committed between Jakana and Auno villages, a distance of only 20 kilometres.
“Surprisingly, we have a Brigade Commander with his team in Jakana.”
Continued, he added: “There is also a commanding officer with his battalion in Auno covering a distance of 20 kilometres.”
According to him, they have failed to protect the commuters.
Piqued by insecurity along the road, he said: “Honestly speaking, we’re not happy as the Nigerian Army has failed in discharging its responsibilities of protecting commuters.
While narrating insecurity on roads, he said: “I left Maiduguri this morning (Monday) along the same road, I could not see neither a single Army nor Police personnel along the Auno/Jakana road.”
He said that even the newly recruited policemen for Borno state Rapid Response (RRS) team were also not sighted along the same road.
The Governor alleged that the soldiers, including the policemen are busy collecting money at the various checkpoints along the Maiduguri/Damaturu road.
He added that besides collecting money, they have been harassing commuters and villagers.
“The Federal Government and indeed the Nigerian Army have to listen to Nigerian people in bringing peace and harmony to the nation,” he declared.
Lamenting on incessant attacks, he said: “It’s very embarrassing! Look at the number of vehicles burnt down by the insurgents last Friday along the same road.”
According to him, the irony is that nobody can dare to speak the right thing, as they will soon condemn you.
“We cannot just go and continue to be in disarray,” he warned.
He therefore said: “If the Army and Police cannot protect commuters within a distance of only 20 kilometres in the last two years, I cannot see the capacity of the Army in defeating the insurgents in Borno.”
He said this is the right time, the Army has to rethink and ensure the protection of people’s lives and property; as enshrined in the constitution.
On immediate measures to be taken, he said: “We’re going back to Maiduguri to summon an emergency security council meeting, comprising the army, police and other security agencies.
“This is to see to the end of this problem along this road.”
He assured the people that the state government will provide the necessary support needed to stop these atrocities on the roads.