Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno has decried the killing of eight policemen and three members of Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) in an ambush by Boko Haram insurgents in Kukawa Local Government Area on Friday.
A statement by the governor’s Special Assistant on Media and Strategies, Malam Isa Gusau, in Maiduguri on Saturday said that Zulum expressed profound sadness over the incident.
The governor said that two convoys — one belonging to him and the other conveying members of the Committee on Baga Reconstruction — had safely passed the Maiduguri-Baga route, prior to the day when the third convoy of security men was ambushed.
Zulum said that his team was in Baga from Thursday to Friday, as part of the efforts to resettle the people in their community after their displacement by Boko Haram insurgency.
He stressed that the visit to Baga was “aimed at cutting Boko Haram’s long use of the commercial town as their main transit for undertaking major fishing trade and tax administration, from which the insurgents fund their murderous activities.
“Baga, Borno’s largest fishing community by the shores of the Lake Chad, with waterways to neighbouring countries, is considered strategic to Boko Haram’s operations,’’ he said.
Zulum expressed his grief over the carnage and shared the anguish of the families of the 11 heroes “to whom Borno shall remain grateful for their commitment and sacrifices’’.
The governor prayed for the repose of the souls of the slain men and urged all stakeholders to remain committed to the ongoing peace building efforts.
He said that the people must continue to keep hope alive “even in the face of tribulations’’.
Zulum stressed that with sustained efforts and prayers, Borno State would eventually regain peace.
“The situation facing us is a tough one but we must choose between doing something, which gives us some hope, and doing nothing, which will leave us more vulnerable to Boko Haram’s ultimate wish to take over Borno and bring it under their sovereign brutal administration.’’
Regent Times reports that Baga town was attacked by Boko Haram insurgents two years ago, causing the displacement of thousands of residents and forcing them to flee to places like Monguno and Maiduguri.