Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, was angry when he visited Auno yesterday where Boko Haram killed about 30 travelers and kidnapped some children in Borno Highway village.
The Governor who was livid with anger with the level of destruction to lives and property, pleaded with the military to protect his people and save them from wanton killings.
According to the people of the village, the victims of the targeted attack arrived the military checkpoints leading into Maiduguri after the 5pm closure of the gate and they had no choice but to sleep in Auno, the neighbouring village on Maiduguri-Damaturu Highway.
The villagers while narrating their ordeal in the hands of the terrorist group on Sunday night to Borno Governor, Umara Zulum, decried that many other persons were abducted.
They lamented that 18 vehicles comprising of trailers ,buses and cars were burnt by insurgents who laid siege on their village at about 9:50 pm on Sunday.
The villagers, who were still in shock when the governor paid a condolence call on them on Monday morning, said women and children were loaded into three buses and driven away.
The villagers lamented that most of those that were attacked were those that could not get into Maiduguri on Sunday as the get to the town was shut against them haven’t failed to arrive before the 5pm deadline.
One of the villagers, who spoke anonymously to journalists, said: “It is so sad as the Boko Haram seems to have targeted the people knowing that many would have to sleep in Auno as the get to Maiduguri would have been shut against them by 5pm.”
He further lamented that when the travelers arrived after 5pm the gate mounted by the military was closed and all vehiclar movements had officially ceased, the insurgents came at night and slaughtered everyone in sight.
The governor, who was visibly shaken when he saw the charred bodies of the victims of the attack, who were roasted by the fire resulting from burnt vehicles, requested the military authorities to dismantle the Auno gate from its present position and move it further away from the village so that it will be more difficult for insurgents to gain access into the village.
He said that the Borno state government will assist those whose vehicles were destroyed in the attack as well as those whose goods were burnt alongside the vehicles transporting foodstuff and other wares into Maiduguri.
He, however , called on the people to remain calm and law abiding in the face of the challenges, promising that government will look for a way out the situation.
Meanwhile, the Head of the military counter-insurgency operation in the North-East (Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole), Maj. Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi, said the Maiduguri/Damaturu road will now close by 4pm in order to protect lives and property.
Adeniyi directed the closure to be moved forward to 4pm, as the major entrance into Maiduguri from other part of the country used to be closed to traffic by 5pm.
Though the residents of Auno had told the governor that 30 corpses were counted at the scene of the attack, Adeniyi told journalists at a press briefing that ten persons were killed.
The Army General said it has become dangerous to ‘ply and park vehicles’ along
Maiduguri/Damaturu road between 4pm and at night.
He said: “We don’t want to see vehicles on this road between evening and night
hours,” querying what businesses have motorists and truck drivers to park over 200 vehicles at Auno.
He noted that the closure of road, was also to prevent Boko Haram
insurgents attacking commuters and communities along the 132-kilometre
He attributed Auno’s attack on the excesses of drivers and transporters, emphasizing that daily closures of the road will now be by 4pm.
On rescue of students, he said: “Yesterday (Sunday), Boko Haram came
with 15 gun trucks along Maiduguri/Gubio road and in two minutes; they kidnapped three students of Government College, Maiduguri.
“The insurgents quickly fled the road,” but Lt.Col I. Yusuf mobilized other soldiers and pursued the terrorists.”
He said while engaging the insurgents, troops skillfully rescued the students without harm to them.
He, however, warned school authorities against students wearing school uniforms
on Sundays in insurgency affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
He said that the wearing of uniforms makes students vulnerable to terrorists and other suspected kidnappers.
Adeniyi handed over the students to their parents.