Boko Haram: Presidential convoy trapped in Maiduguri
President Goodluck Jonathan’s advance team to the Borno State capital Maiduguriâ€Ž for the presidential campaign that held on Saturday are trapped and currently taking refuge at the Department of State Security (DSS) command, following the attack on the city by Boko Haram.
Those trapped are the media, security and medical teams.â€Ž
One of the trapped persons when contacted said that both the military and civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) were able to repel the insurgents that had attempted to take over control of Maiduguri and several other parts of the state.â€Ž
The President’s convoy had arrived the town on Friday after being escorted for about 10 hours by about 10 heavily armed soldiers from Bauchi
They were billed to return to Abuja on Saturday after the PDP campaign rally which took place at Ramat square but stayed on the advice of the Joint Task Force.
The source when contacted at about 11.40 a.m said, “we are hiding at the DSS state command with serious fighting going on between the insurgents and security personnel. Security men are battling to repel the insurgents.”
When contacted again at about 2:14p.m, he said that Maiduguri has come under full control of Security personnel but they were still working on the roads and villages.
“They say they have to comb the bushes to get rid of the insurgents and they said they might not finish today. Meaning that we cannot leave today (yesterday)”.
According to the source, the entire convoy of the President remains a major target of the insurgent who are bent on attacking the team in order to embarrass the presidency.
“Those trapped are in the president’s team are members of the media crew, medical and security personnel. The Protocol team took a risk and left on their own, that was before the terrorists started advancing. We wanted to join them but we were warned by the security guys. The Protocool vehicle believe it’s riskier to join convoy because it will attract the attention of the Boko Haram.â€Ž We are now regretting why we didn’t follow them. ” He said.
The source when contacted again at 14:54 p.m said, “Maiduguri just came under some calm now, so we were able to get food in a nearby bus park. We are Still in the neighbourhood of the DSS office anyway. â€Ž “The security people said they have chased the insurgents out of town. They also attacked Konduga which has now been reclaimed with heavy casualties on the part of Boko Haram”.
The airport at Maiduguri is not yet open to commercial flights. The presidential convoy had to travel of 10 hours to Maduguri from Bauchi.