Barely 24 hours after suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked the convoy of Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum, four people were killed in a twin explosions in Maiduguri, yesterday.
The explosions occurred in a shop at furniture lane in Customs Area of the city at about 5pm, witnesses said
A furniture shop owner and his sales boy were said to have been killed while two of the four injured persons reportedly died shortly after they were admitted in an hospital.
Neither the military nor the police has confirmed or reacted to the incident
It was not clear how the explosive got to the shop but security sources said it could be a motorised explosive device suspected to have been planted near the area by Boko Haram. No one has yet claim responsibly.
Acting General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, Brig Gen Abdul Khalifa Ibrahim, who visited the scene did not speak to newsmen.
The latest incident was the first explosion in the last six month in the city. The police have earlier today announced restriction of vehicular movement during Sallah celebration today (Friday) to forestall breach of security.
Still smarting from Wednesday’s attack on his convoy, Governor Zulum has, however, threatened to resort to self-help by engaging the services of local hunters to keep Baga, the main economic hub of the state safe, if the military is unable to secure it.
On Wednesday, Boko Haram insurgents attacked the governor’s convoy in Baga, while on his way to some Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Kukawa Local Government Area.
After donating 12 patrol vehicles to security operatives in the area, Zulum also flagged off the reopening of the Monguno-Baga highway after a two-year closure.
Zulum, who had earlier been briefed by troops that Baga was free of Boko Haram insurgents, returned to ask what led to the attack on his convoy.
“We have over 1,181 soldiers in Baga; 72 officers, 107 soldiers, 400 soldiers in Mile 4 and 1,900 soldiers in Monguno. I see no reason why Boko Haram will operate in Baga town.
“The troops have been in Mile 4 for over one year. There is complete sabotage, the problem is not with President Buhari, or Gen. Burutai, but the command and control structures. There is need to look into the command structure. We have over 80,000 IDPs in Monguno, they cannot continue to depend on NGOs and others for food, we have created opportunity for them to go back to their communities and continue with their business and farming activities. After Sallah, we will go back to Kukawa. We will give time to the military; but if they will not clear Baga, we will mobilise our hunters and vigilantes to recapture Baga. We can’t continue like this. People have to take their destiny in their hands.”
Over the months, the governor has had face-offs with troops in the state. In January, he accused troops of extorting road users. However, Army said it has commenced investigation into the attack on the convoy of Governor Zulum by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.
Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sagir Musa, in a statement in Abuja, yesterday, said that the governor’s convoy came under terrorists fire while visiting Baga town.
He said the governor had earlier paid a visit to the Commander, 19 Brigade at the Nigerian Army Super Camp Baga where he was briefed about the prevailing security situation in the general area.
According to him, the unfortunate incident occurred shortly after the Governor and his entourage departed the Super Campaign to visit other parts of Baga town.
“The incident forced the governor to abort his planned movement to Baga. Although, details of the unfortunate incident is sketchy and under investigation, efforts are ongoing to comb the area where the incident occurred with a view to track down and deal decisively with the attackers. An investigation is also in progress to identify the circumstances that led to the attack,” he said.
Musa however, said the attack was an isolated and most unfortunate incident owing to the fact that normalcy had since been restored to Baga with socio-economic activities picking up.