The Senator representing Borno South, Mohammed Ali Ndume, has condoled with the Nigeria Army authorities over the killing of Brigadier General Zirkusu and three other soldiers during an attack by Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists on an Army base in Askira Uba, Borno State.
Ndume, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, in a chat with journalists on Sunday, also raised the alarm that the terrorists were regrouping at the Lake Chad axis of Borno North even as he urged troops not to relent.
He urged other security agencies to support the Military in the fight against the terrorists, revealing that given the Saturday’s incident, some residents of Chibok were already planning to relocate to Mubi in Adamawa State for safety.
LEADERAHIP reports that Brigadier General Zirkusu and other soldiers were killed on Saturday in the incident which occurred at Bulguma, a few kilometres from Askira town in Askira Uba local government area of Borno State.
According to the Army, the troops of Joint Task Force, North East, Operation Hadin Kai, were engaged in a fierce gun battle with the terrorists which also led to the death of three other soldiers.
“I want to express my condolences to the Nigerian Army over the death of the General who died along Chibok road. ISWAP terrorists attacked a town there. They know that the General was the major obstacle to their operation.
“They laid an ambush and rammed a bomb-laddened car into his vehicle. He was a gallant soldier. He took the fight to the terrorists. His death has sent a panic to people in that area. I am aware that some people around that Chibok area have started thinking of relocating. Some want to go to Mubi and other places. We are trying to urge them to remain there. The insurgency is coming to an end.
“This is not the end, but the beginning of the end of terrorists. I know that the Army has what it takes to take the fight to them. There is need to urge other security agencies to give the Army the needed support. We also need to urge vigilante groups to assist them.
“For now, we will assume that it was an isolated case. But the intensity with which they came is worrisome. They came with more than 10 gun trucks. They are also regrouping around Borno North. That’s Lake Chad axis. The Military is aware and the Air Force is providing surveillance in the area. It was a revenge mission. The Army has been taking out key ISWAP commanders and they had their revenge.
“Last week for instance, they abducted relatives of the Emir of Askira. They also abducted some passengers along that road. If the Army sustains the temple, we will win this insurgency,” Ndume said.
Meanwhile, on additional equipment for the military to effectively fight insurgency, Ndume said, “The equipments are arriving gradually. We are monitoring. As a committee, we will go and see what have brought into the country. This is an improvement. The Army is very rapid in responding. The Army is involved in about 33 states now. They’re under pressure.”