Dennis Amakiri, former Deputy Director of the Department of State Service (DSS) reacted to the recent attack on Governor Babagana Zullum, Governor of Borno State by Boko Haram insurgents. He said that the Governor refused to heed intelligence warnings that dissuaded him from moving out of the Borno State House. He stated this during a special media programme to mark Nigeria’s Independence.
The Governor’s convoy was ambushed on Friday, September 25, while journeying to Baga to supervise an ongoing resettlement effort that aimed to cut Boko Haram’s use of the commercial town for fish trading in order to obstruct the taxes derived from the economic control of the town.
The incident happened along Cross Kauwa-Baga road in Borno state, leaving over 30 people dead including 10 policemen and 4 soldiers.
On their return, another set of insurgents laid ambush on the convoy on Sunday, September 27, along Monguno-Maiduguri axis.
Amakiri however, unveiled that Governor Zulum was warned earlier against his outing.
He said, ‘The Governor of Borno State was given the intelligence that this road is not safe, he felt he could go.’
‘And being the Chief Executive, he ventured out. He was attacked twice. I hope he will not go again because at least they continue telling him, managing him to make sure that he keeps himself safe.’
Amakiri proceeded by stating that, there are certain procedures to be carried out before ‘Very Important Persons’ (VIPs) move.
He stated that if such processes are not met, the public official will be exposed to danger, with the masses criticising security officials for not sharing intelligence that should prevent a looming tragedy.
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It can be recalled that the convoy of Governor Zulum had scarcely escaped a terror attack in Baga town. Governor Zulum went through a similar incident in July.
In July, The Governor had departed Maiduguri, the state capital for the northern part of the state in continuation of a food distribution programme, and just a few kilometers to the town, gunmen opened fire on the governor and his entourage.
Distraught by the attack, the Governor approached the army, expressing his regret at the inability of the military to free Baga and its environs of insurgents.
The Governor in his statement said, ‘You have been here for over one year now, there are 1,181 soldiers here; if you cannot take over Baga which is less than 5 km from your base, then we should forget about Baga. I will inform the Chief of Army Staff to redeploy the men to other places that they can be useful.’
He maintained that the insurgency should have been over, but disruption in the system will not allow it to come to an end in the North East.
He unveiled that some elements are trying to thwart the effort of the government in bringing the insurgency to an end, emphasizing that ‘President Muhammadu Buhari needs to know the truth.’
The military in reply to Zulum’s claims said the governor’s theories are unfounded.