GOVERNOR Kashim Shettima of Borno State has reaffirmed his confidence in the Nigerian armed forces despite the attack on his convoy by Boko Haram fighters on Wednesday.
Five persons, comprising four civilians and one soldier, were killed when Shettima’s convoy was ambushed by terrorists on his way from a campaign event in Gamboru. The terrorists were reportedly dressed in military camouflage.
In a press statement issued by his spokesman, Isa Gusau, on Thursday, Shettima commiserated with the families that lost their loved ones in the attack, adding that he would visit the families later in the day to condole with them.
Gusau said three persons were killed in the attack, but the Civilian Joint Task, a local vigilante group assisting the Nigerian military in the counter-terrorism operations, told journalists that two bodies were later recovered from the scene of the attack bringing the total body count to five.
“The unfortunate incident will not make the governor have doubt in the capacity of the gallant and patriotic personnel of the Nigerian armed forces who have dedicated their lives fighting for peace and the freedom of Borno people,” Gusau stated.
“The governor has absolute confidence in the armed forces and given his access to raw updates, he is aware of the successes being recorded by the armed forces despite Tuesday’s and previous attacks by the insurgents. For one success recorded by the insurgents, the armed forces record dozens against them.”
According to Gusau the attack on Governor Shettima’s convoy by Boko Haram was “principally aimed to attract local and global media attention in order to sustain propaganda strategy and to instil fear in citizens and gallant troops”.
He, however, urged citizens of Borno State to be calm, prayerful and supportive of the Nigerian armed forces and volunteers by sharing of useful information with them.
The attack on Shettima’s convoy came less than three days to the commencement of the 2019 general elections and in spite of the rhetorics by the Nigerian military that Boko Haram has been decimated and technically defeated.
Asides the insurgency challenge in the North East region of Nigeria, there is also the issue of banditry and kidnapping in the North West region, with Zamfara, Taraba, and Katsina States worst affected.
The Nigerian Army, however, continues to assure of a hitch-free election across the country. On Wednesday, the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, inaugurated what was described as a situation room from where the army will monitor the security situations across the country to enable it deploy personnel to troubled areas in good time.