Zulum indicts army, police over insecurity in Borno
Say they collect tolls, harass residents
Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has indicted the Nigerian army and police over insecurity to life and property in the state.
The indictment was triggered by the multiple attacks and kidnap of 35 people by Boko Haram last Friday.
Over 100 lives were lost and properties destroyed in Auno and Jakana, 20 and 40 kilometres respectively from Maiduguri, the state capital, as bandits attacked the two towns between 2014 and 2019.
Speaking yesterday at Jakana, where 10 people were killed and a Dangote truck torched alongside three other vehicles, Zulum said: “It is very disheartening and embarrassing to note that innocent commuters are being constantly killed and kidnapped along the Maiduguri/Kano road, particularly the 132-kilometre Maiduguri/Damaturu road. It is also annoying to note that those atrocities are committed between Jakana and Auno villages, a distance of only 20 kilometres from the capital.
“Surprisingly, we have a Brigade Commander with his team in Jakana. There is also a commanding officer with his battalion in Auno.”
According to him, the security agencies have failed to protect the citizens.
He added that even the newly-recruited policemen for Borno Rapid Response Squad (RRS) were also not sighted along the road.
The governor alleged that the soldiers and the policemen were busy collecting money at the various checkpoints along the Maiduguri/Damaturu road.
Besides collecting money, they have been harassing commuters and villagers, he added.
“The Federal Government and indeed the Nigerian army have to listen to Nigerians in bringing peace and harmony to the nation,” he declared.
Lamenting on incessant attacks, he said: “If the army and police cannot protect commuters within a distance of only 20 kilometres in the last two years, I cannot foresee the capacity of the army defeating the insurgents in Borno.
“This is the right time. The army has to rethink and ensure the protection of life and property as enshrined in the constitution.”
On the immediate measure to be taken, he said: “We’re going back to Maiduguri to summon an emergency security council meeting, comprising the army, police and other security agencies.