A once peaceful Nigeria has since 2009 been grappling with heightened insecurity issues from the Boko Haram insurgency that has left devastating consequences the nation is yet to recover from – including the bombing of schools, churches, mosques, market places, to the kidnap of the Chibok school-girls, and the massacre of unsuspecting citizens in various too many villages in the North. And now, the most recent concern is a threat to the life of the Governor of Borno, Babagana Umara Zulum. But what exactly is the governor up against?
On Sunday, September 27, 2020, Governor Zulum’s convoy was attacked on his way to Baga Town to relocate the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Maiduguri. Though he was unhurt, it was, however, reported that about 18 members of his convoy were killed in the ambush, after he had survived a similar attacked on Friday, September 25, 2020, which claimed the lives of about ten members of his convoy and left an undisclosed number of persons injured.
What is more worrisome, however, is that the governor’s convoy has been attacked on three consecutive occasions in a very short space of time along this same route; and while his security detail and the Nigerian Army had assured Zulum that he had nothing to worry about because the area, according to them, had been cleared of the Boko-Haram insurgents after the first attack, the attack still persisted.
The question now is, if the Boko-Haram sect is not involved in the attacks, who is trying to sabotage the governor’s effort along the Baga highway? With over one thousand Army personnel escorting the governor, how come he still couldn’t access the town under their protection?
The furious governor was seen with the military in a video where he raised salient questions begging for answers. But it appears that the answers he and Nigerians are seeking are far-fetched.
Could it be an attack from a compromised member in his cabinet trying to keep him from finding out about some possibly shady business going on in Baga? Or could the attack be from members of the Boko-Haram sect fighting to keep the town under their control for its economic importance? The incessant attacks on the governor have come as a shock to many Nigerians and while we are trying to figure out the answer behind the attacks, we might want to travel down memory lane to understand why Baga may be under siege.
Baga has been one of the most hardly hit by the activities of the insurgents. It can be recalled that in 2015, the town suffered a heavy blow in the hands of the insurgents after an estimated 2,000 people were mercilessly massacred by members of the sect. The sad incident was described as the most brutal massacre perpetrated by the group.
But even after many people fled the town and it was described as a ghost town, it is still under siege until date. So what is the bone of contention? What is going on in Baga town that has made it inaccessible to Governor Zulum at a time like this? Is it its economic importance or something more serious we should be concerned about? Boko-Haram, a compromised cabinet, or both?
Here is how Nigerians reacted:
The double attack on Governor Zulum's convoy within a span of hours is a manifestation of how security in Nigeria has degenerated into. No one is safe, not the pauper nor the prince. It's terrifying!
— Golden Voice (@iadanlawan) September 28, 2020
Where do we draw the red line, how can governor Zulum's convoy be attacked on Friday with so many killed and another attack to recur on Sunday. C-in-C @MBuhari please act.
— Jibrin Ibrahim (@JibrinIbrahim17) September 28, 2020
Governor Babagana Zulum's convoy came under a Boko Haram attack on Sunday September 27, barely 48 hours after his convoy was attacked by insurgents on Friday September 25. https://t.co/oQXj47JLEb
— Eazyfeeds (@eazyfeeds) September 28, 2020
My heart goes to governor Zulum, may Allah continue to protect him. One important thing, NOTHING SHOULD HAPPEN TO GOVERNOR ZULUM
— Dattijo Aliyu (@aliyu_dattijo) September 28, 2020
The country need to put hand on deck to address the issue of insecurity in the country. The attack on Governor Zulum convoy calls for urgent attention.
I think after Chad soldiers attack Boko Haram early this year. I think they have been a decline in attack in Chad.
— Yahaya??Abubakar (@YahayaNeutral) September 28, 2020
Please let us not make cajole of a serious situation not even with Gov Zulum. This is a governor determined to unveil all the games those handling the insurgencies are playing. Those enemies within are strongly fighting back so we need to encourage Zulum. https://t.co/FIa0UCVgUG
— Concerned citizen (@aelinwa) September 28, 2020