President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday described as orchestrated sabotage, the ambush on entourage of Borno State governor, Umar Babagana Zulum, which led to the death of security men and some operatives of Civilian-JTF.
Zulum’s convoy was attacked and 11 security men killed in an ambush in Kukawa area of the state on Friday, while on his way to Baga town to inspect structures being put in place toward resettling communities displaced by Boko Haram.
The attackers opened fire on the convoy, and among the 11 fallen security personnel were eight Policemen and three members of Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF).
In statement by presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, the president said the attack on Maiduguri-Baga route was an orchestrated sabotage against long planned return of displaced persons to their local communities.
President Buhari noted with deep sympathy the loss of lives of security men on the convoy ahead of the return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), even as he commiserated with their families and loved ones.
The president urged the government of Borno State, working with security and intelligence agencies, to remain firm in their determination to restore normalcy to all communities liberated from Boko Haram terrorists.
President Buhari urged security and intelligence agencies to intensify efforts to check sabotage, sanitize the roads, venues and locations well in advance of returning IDPs, while working closely with local communities.
The president commended the gallantry of service personnel who repelled the deadly ambush as well the sincere determination of Governor Zulum who has been working with armed forces to end the menace of terrorists, rebuild homes and return IDPs to regular life.
He prayed God to grant the souls of the departed security men and operatives of Civilian-JTF eternal rest, and comfort their families.
ACF Condemns Attack
Also, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) condemned Friday’s attack on Borno State governor Babagana Zulum, and described the latest incident as “alarming”.
ACF’s reaction is contained in a statement signed by its national publicity secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, a copy of which was made available to the LEADERSHIP Sunday in Kaduna.
ACF, in the statement, said that the news was “disturbing”.
It stated: “We are alarmed that the deadly attacks have continued in spite of assurances we have received from the military and the federal government of an improved security situation.
“In the attacks of yesterday (Friday), 11 security personnel were killed. Only last week, a serving senior military officer, Col. Bako, was ambushed and killed around Demboa in same Borno.
“In July, Zulum came under gunfire while on official tour. These attacks are affecting public confidence in the ability of the military to successfully defend Nigeria in the ongoing war against terror”.
The Forum, however, called on the military to act swiftly to restore public confidence.
NAF Kill Scores Of Terrorists In Multiple Airstrikes
Meanwhile, the Air Component of Operation LAFIYA DOLE has killed scores of Boko Haram terrorists and destroyed their camps in multiple air strikes at Tongule, Bone and Isari Musa, in Borno State.
The coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, said the air strikes were executed in continuation of subsidiary Operation HAIL STORM 2
He noted that the ATF carried night daytime attacks at Tongule and daytime attacks on September 24 and 25, 2020 at Isari Musa respectively, which led to massive destruction of Boko Haram terrorists’ camps and neutralisation of scores of their fighters.
He said the strike on Tongule was undertaken after surveillance missions revealed continued assembly of the terrorists within the settlement at nighttime, adding that it dispatched Nigerian Air Force (NAF) helicopter gunships for the night attack on the location, with their barrage of rockets neutralising several of the terrorists.
“Meanwhile, Bone, a settlement along the Yale-Kumshe axis, on the other hand, was attacked by a force package of NAF fighter jets and helicopter gunships after credible intelligence reports established that the location served as a staging area from where the terrorists launched attacks.
“The NAF attack aircraft engaged the location in multiple bomb and rocket runs, destroying several of their structures and neutralizing scores of terrorists”, he said.
In similar vein, at Isari B Musa, several terrorists who were observed both within and in bushes surrounding the settlement were taken out as the NAF attack aircraft took turns in engaging the target area.