Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno State, Northeast Nigeria on Monday made an unscheduled visit to Jakana, a town along the dreaded Maiduguri – Damaturu road.
According to sources in the entourage of the governor, Zulum was unhappy with the absence of static and mobile military units along the road that has become notorious for abduction and killing of travellers by Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters that have mounted checkpoints on the road.
The governor was visiting Jakana, about 40 kilometres west of Borno state capital Maiduguri after ISWAP abducted about 30 passengers on Friday at a checkpoint in Kondiri village near Jakana.
He was furious despite the presence of military camps in Auno and Jakana, because securing the road has become a challenge exposing travellers to frequent attacks, said one of those who accompanied him on the visit.
The Jakana-Auno-Maiduguri section of the road is considered the most dangerous and risky due to the bad nature of the road and frequent ISWAP interception of passengers and attacks on security forces.
According to a source, the military recently accused Jakana residents of involvement in the abductions but the locals in response, swore by the Holy Quran to prove their innocence.
The source told HumAngle that the villagers had informed the military that those behind the attacks were stronger than them, suggesting that the attacks were by insurgents.
The military, it was gathered threatened to evacuate the community if another incident happens.
In January, Zulum stopped an attempt by the military to move residents to an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Maiduguri.
“I’m back here in Jakana and Mainok community because I received information that the Nigeria military would be evacuating Mainok and Jakana, ” the Governor told journalists.
“I have called and spoken with the Chief of Army Staff to refrain from this action.”
The Governor, a major backer of expanding state reach and returning of IDPs, has continued to be vocal about the security in towns, villages and roads outside and between the Garrison towns
Later in February, at least 30 people were killed when insurgents attacked stranded travellers caught in a roadblock.
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