Smarting from his shock escape from Biko Haram attack on his convoy which led to the death of about 30 persons including soldiers and policemen, Governor Babagana Zulum on Saturday said government must remain resolute in the battle against insurgency.
The governor said situation facing the nation 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 takeover Borno and bring it under their sovereign brutal administration.”
The governor in a statement by his spokesman, Mallam Isa Gusau, on Saturday expressed sadness over the second attack on his convoy.
He said those killed included policemen and civilian JTF members who were ambushed on their way to Baga as security back-ups in reconstruction efforts.
The statement said the governor was in Baga from Thursday till Friday in an effort to supervise efforts to return residents to the area.
Baga, which is Borno’s largest fishing community in the shores of the Lake Chad with waterways to neighboring countries, is considered strategic to Boko Haram’s operation.
Gusau revealed that two convoys – one belonging to the governor and another, the committee on Baga reconstruction – had safely plied the Maiduguri-Baga route previous days before the third convoy of security men was ambushed on Friday morning even after precautionary steps had been taken to ensure safe trips.
The statement read in part, “Governor Babagana Umara Zulum is saddened by this unfortunate carnage. He shares the grief of families of these 11 priceless heroes to whom Borno shall remain grateful.
“The governor prays for the repose of their souls and urges all stakeholders to remain committed to ongoing peacebuilding efforts. Zulum is of the opinion that we must continue to keep hope alive even in the face of tribulations and believe that with sustained efforts and prayers, Borno will 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 takeover Borno and bring it under their sovereign brutal administration.”
The statement said the governor attended Baga’s first Jumu’ah prayers in nearly two years.
Baga town was displaced by the Boko Haram insurgents 21 months ago, with most of the residents taking refuge in Monguno and Maiduguri.