BORNO, Nigeria – The State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, has said that the explanation given to him by the military field commanders on the attack on his convoy and general security situation in Baga town was not acceptable to the government and people of the state.
Zulum, who spoke to newsmen in Maiduguri on his experience during his trip to Baga, the fishing town in Borno, said he was saddened with what he saw and experienced in Baga.
He, therefore, called on the people of the state to rise up in support of the government and against saboteurs in the military through collective efforts in order to win the ongoing fight against insurgency in the northeast.
Zulum told newsmen that there are over 500 people in Kukawa town when he arrived and the government was able to distribute food to about 80 households.
According to him, there was no way the government or any NGO can reach the 500 people in need of assistance in that area with the current security situation in the area.
He said if the people are still living in camps and nothing is done to move them to their various villages, the security issues may linger for a while.
He observed that there are over 10 million people from Baga town who are farming on the shores of the Lake Chad in the past, but today the story is different as there are no people living in Baga.
While expressing bitterness on the attack on his convoy in Baga, Professor Zulum said, there are about 1,200 soldiers stationed at mile 4, which is only about 4km to Baga town, but they could not liberate the town.
“We were there and you saw what happened. The soldiers were shooting and we all have to make a turn. This is not acceptable. But we can neither blame the President or the Army Chief on this.
However, the authorities must begin to look into what is happening on the ground with our soldiers in the frontlines and take a decisive step to ensure these soldiers enter and clear Baga town.
“If this is not going to happen, our people need to wake up and do the needful even if it takes us recruiting two to three thousands of hunters and join them with our police force to launch attacks on those criminals and clear Baga town to restore peace and confidence in that part of the state.
“I cannot explain why these have to linger with 1,200 soldiers in Baga, 1,007 soldiers in Cross aside officers, 450 soldiers at mile 4 and 1,900 soldiers in Monguno.
“They told us there are no soldiers, but there are soldiers in all these places with the number to safely prosecute the campaign to liberate this area. The issue is not about fighting men or equipment, the authorities need to come down to look into what is informing this lack of zeal to fight amongst our soldiers,” Zulum said
The governor added that, if nothing is done urgently to contain the crises and the people continue to fold arms or hide in their fears, these crises would not end soon.