Barely hours after President Muhammadu Buhari left Maiduguri after paying a consolation visit to the city over killing of over 30 persons at Auno village on Sunday, the insurgents, yesterday, launched attack on Jiddari Polo general area of the metropolis, as residents fled their homes into the heart of the city.
President Buhari had ran into a storm during the visit, yesterday, as some residents booed his convoy on his way to the Palace of the Emir of Borno
Jiddari Polo General Area is a densely populated area on the outskirts of the metropolis, close to the 21 Giwa Armoured Barracks. A resident, Mallam Yusuf Unman, said: “Our community is currently under Boko Haram attack, there are deafening sounds of gunshots and explosions, but I was lucky to have mobilised my family and fled into the heart of the city to reunite with one of my relatives.”
Although the sounds of the gunshots subsided at 7:12pm, many residents who fled into the city were still stranded at press time. One of the fleeing residents, Adamu Garba told Vanguard at about 7:30pm, he sighted a large number of armed policemen, members of the civilian JTF with military troops heading towards the area of the attack as he struggled to enter the town with his family in his private car.
This came as the President said more proactive and decisive measures would be taken by the Federal Government to put an end to the Boko Haram menace once and for all, saying there couldn’t be Boko Haram without knowledge of local leaders.
Also, the House of Representatives asked the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on security in the country, while the senator representing Borno South senatorial district, Ali Ndume, asked government to engage mercenaries to finish off the insurgent group.
President Buhari had arrived Maiduguri from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he attended African Union summit since last Friday, to condole with the people over last Sunday’s Boko Haram attack which claimed over 30 lives at Auno village.
The attack also left 18 vehicles, shops and houses razed, after food items being conveyed to Maiduguri by trucks were looted. As the convoy of the President made its way to the Palace of the Shehu of Borno, His Royal Highness Abubakar Ibn Umar Gabai, in company of Governor Babagana Umaru Zulum, some residents, mainly youths, shouted in Hausa: “Bama so!” “Bamayi!”, meaning “we don’t want; we’re not interested, because you have disappointed us.’’
Surprisingly, during the 2015 and 2019 general elections, Borno people massively voted for the President, the area being one of his strongholds. During his previous visits to the state, crowds always lined up the streets, chanting “Sai baba!”
‘Security improvement will be pursued’
Speaking during the visit, the President said the Federal Government, beyond ensuring that more proactive and decisive measures would to be taken to put an end to the Boko Haram menace in the country once and for all, noted that intelligence sharing and synergy between law enforcement agencies and the civil populace were critical towards achieving the objectives.
He said: “I assure you that improvement in security will be pursued vigorously. The military will work harder and strategise with tactics to deal with the insurgents.”
“This is, however, not possible without good intelligence and cooperation with local community leaders. Boko Haram cannot come up to Maiduguri or environs without the local leadership knowing because traditionally, the local leadership is in charge of security in their own respective areas.”
“I want to call on the leadership at various levels to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and let us deny Boko Haram access to our loyal citizens.”
“We will do our best and I hope history will be kind to us; to recall what was on the ground when we came and what will be on the ground when we leave.”
In his remarks, Governor Zulum thanked the President for identifying with the state in these trying times. He praised the efforts of the military so far, wondering why some people would be comparing the security situation now with what obtained before the Buhari administration came on board.
He said: “Roads were closed, there were sporadic bombings everywhere even within the metropolis. Close to 20 local government areas were under Boko Haram. We are surprised that there seems to be resurgence in 2019.”
He tasked the military to borrow from their successes, especially between 2015 and 2017, take the battle to the insurgents and push them to the fringes of Lake Chad.
He also urged the security agencies to be patient with the civilian populace and give opportunities to the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, to access their communities in order to return to their occupations.
Declare security emergency, Reps tell Buhari
While the President was on his consolation visit in Borno, the House of Representatives was at its plenary in Abuja, asking the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on security in the country.
This formed part of the resolution reached, following a motion on the need to investigate the circumstances surrounding the killing of 30 travellers at Auno by Boko Haram insurgents.
After the lawmakers deliberated on the motion, the House also resolved to mandate its Committee on Army to investigate the super camps set up by the Nigerian Army.