Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Five people including three soldiers and two civilians have been feared killed during an attack on a Borno town by Boko Haram insurgents.
Residents said the insurgents came to Gubio, a serene town in northern Borno on the eve of Eid Kabir in about eight gun trucks, firing sporadically in an attack that lasted about two hours. The residents said the insurgents were pushing hard to overrun the town until a military fighter jet from the air force came to the rescue.
There was no confirmation from the military on the attack even when the state governor, Babagan Zulum, visited the town on Sallah day with the Theatre Commander, Maj Gen Benson Akinroluyo and other security heads in the state. The governor who left Maiduguri, the state capital to Gubio few hours after observing his Eid to sympathise with the people and assess the incident, assured the people government was collaborating with the military and other security agencies to improve on the security situation in the area.
Meanwhile, Gov Zulum has acceded to request of the traditional rulers in the state to convey an expanded security meeting to review the security situation in the state. He disclosed this during a Sallah visit to him by the Shehu of Borno and Chairman of the State Council of Traditional Leaders, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai El-Kanemi.
“We shall call expanded security meeting to look at the security architecture of Borno State with a view to improving the situation,” the governor promised. He also said the state government was launching an agro-rangers programme as security measures to protect farmers on their farms against attack by Boko Haram.
“We are also launching what we called agro-rangers under the Civil Defence corps and already 75 of such are in Maiduguri and I have made a personal appeal to the commander of the civil defence to add additional 150,” he explained. He said the state shall support the civil defence corps with about 300 legion, hunters and vigilante to provide security to farmers in Borno State.
He said the state government will next week launch a security response team with about 80 patrol vehicles already procured and 500 hunters and vigilante profiled to serve with the team to provide security within the radius of 30 to 40 kilometres from Maiduguri.
The Shehu of Borno had earlier in a remark, expressed concern over the security situation in the northern part of Borno. He said farmers no longer have access to their farmlands due to the security situation even as he said the results might be catastrophic on the state trying to survive a decade of violence.
“It is now farming season but our people cannot go to farm because farming activities are affected. Government needs to address this problem otherwise there might be a problem,” he warned.