Babagana Zulum, governor of Borno State, has blamed the recent increase in abductions by Boko Haram terrorists along the roads leading to the state on the Nigeria military.
Zulum stressed that people are being killed because the army has failed to do their jobs.
The governor said this while reacting to last weekend’s abduction of 35 travellers and many other such incidences that have become a daily occurrence on Maiduguri-Damaturu road, the only safe route that leads to Borno.
The governor, on Monday, visited the location where the 35 travellers were abducted to inspect the level of destruction perpetrated by the insurgents.
Zulum, who spoke to journalists at the scene of the attack, expressed shock and anger on how such magnitude of attack was being perpetrated under the watch of the soldiers and police special squads deployed to protect the highway.
“It is sad and mind-boggling how innocent commuters are being kidnapped and killed on this Maiduguri – Kano road, especially the road linking Maiduguri and Damaturu. It is also very annoying to note that these atrocities are being committed between Jakana and Auno, a distance of only 20 kilometres.”
“Surprisingly we have a Brigade Commander with his team in Jakana; we also have a commanding officer with his battalion in Auno; both teams cover a distance of only 20 kilometres, and they have failed to protect the commuters.
“The Nigeria Army has failed us; they have failed in discharging their role of protecting the commuters.
“This morning while travelling from Maiduguri to Jakana up to Auno, I did not see or sight any single soldier. Even the police-led Rapid Response Squad (RRS) that we established and equipped and enabled to patrol this highway were nowhere to be found on the highway. Instead, they are busy harassing and collecting money from innocent travellers, both police and soldiers.”
“This is embarrassing. Just look at the number of vehicles that have been burnt here, yet we have our soldiers there watching and collecting money from commuters.
“If the army cannot protect people travelling within a distance of only 20 kilometres, then I cannot foresee the capacity of the army ending this insurgency any time soon,” he said.