Five officials of Borno state ministry of works were today, Dec. 1, 2021, abducted by gunmen believed to be members of the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) while on their way to inspect a road project near Chibok, a town in southern Borno state, Northeast Nigeria.
Yerima Saleh, the Borno state commissioner for works, confirmed the development to HumAngle in a telephone interview.
He said the incident happened in the early hours of today.
“Five of our staffers who were on their way to Chibok on an inspection duty were this morning abducted by suspected terrorists who disguised in military uniform,” he said. Three of our project vehicles, a Toyota Hilux Van, and two Tippers were also taken away by the gunmen.”
The Commissioner said the attack happened at Wovi, a village between Damboa and Chibok.
He said the Damboa-Chibok road, a federal government abandoned highway project under construction by the Borno state government, has been ongoing in the past three years.
Though the abductors have made no contact, the Commissioner added that he has since briefed the state Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, and the Governor is “deeply worried” by the development.
Though the Damboa and Chibok axis, which share direct borders with Sambisa forest was once known as the stronghold of the late Abubakar Shekau-led Boko Haram, the recent terrorist activities have indicated that the factional ISWAP may have consolidated their control in the ungoverned locations.
Two weeks ago, the Nigerian military lost a Brigade Commander stationed at Chibok town, alongside other commissioned officers and soldiers during an attack on nearby Askira Uba towns. The incident led to a violent counterattack by the military who reportedly gunned down many of the aggressors.
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