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Gov. Zulum's Attack on Army Confuses Borno People, Worries Army, Borno Elders

By Ahmed Abu, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri

The recent attack on the Nigerian Army by Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno state has continued to raise tension and degenerate into worrisome situation that seems to be putting Borno people into confusion considering the presence of Defence Minister and Chief of Army Staff in Maiduguri without view of the governor as he returned from foreign trip with the President Saturday.

This may not be far from the criticism the governor made recently that the Nigerian army new concept and style of operations is not working and yielding any result as attacks on towns and villages were on the increase and rather giving the boko haram more chances to launch attacks on innocent citizens of Borno and their property which many have described as critically demoralizing.

This followed President Muhammadu Buhari's frown at the manner the issue was creating confusion and tension before departure to Japan with Governor Zulum directing the security chiefs to ascertain the situations on ground in Borno.

This led the Theater Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi to instantly brief the press on happenings and the new concept adopted. It extended to the point of holding closed door meeting with Borno Elders Forum to enlighten them on the new development and activities of the Nigerian army in Borno state against the allegations that the army have abandoned their duty posts, towns and villages. He further requested for their support in the counter insurgency operations.

One week after, the Chief of Army COAS, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai was also in Maiduguri, Borno state capital on the same mission and other corresponding issues about the operations of the Nigerian army.

Two days later, the Minister of Defence, General Bashir Magashi also visited Borno and immediately on arrival, held a consultative meeting with the Borno Elders Forum Saturday night after a dimmer which could not be far away from the foregoing issues of new army operations and alleged non availability in towns and villages

Similarly, the minister in company of the COAS and Theatre Commander among other senior army officers paid homage to the Shehu of Borno, HRH, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai IBM Umar El Kanemi at his palace in Maiduguri two days after his arrival from Italy, on the same alleged non availability of soldiers and new concept of the Nigerian Army operations which has continued to generate lots of controversies over the suitability of the new concept in fighting boko haram insurgency.

The situation further led to a visit to Gubio and Magumeri towns by the Minister of Defence along with the Chief of Arny Staff and Theater Commander for on-the-spot assessment of the security situation on ground as well as extent of damage by the insurgents.

However, it was expected that Governor Zulum would have been in Maiduguri with the Minister of Defence and Chief of Army Staff to further dialogue and straighten out things rather Governor Zulum flew from Abuja, today Sunday to Gombe airport for onward tour of southern Borno.

It is believed that the present chilled relationship may not encourage a one on one discussion between the governor and the security chiefs. It is speculated that the Minister and COAS may finally depart from Maiduguri before the return of the governor from Southern Borno as he usually spends two to three days whenever he is on tour of a zone.

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Mohammed Hassan | 9/2/2019 10:05:00 AM
At least the Governor's comment/criticism has made the security chiefs to sit up and face their assignment - rid the North east of BH. One challenge that begs for intervention is that not all LGAs are under Government control. For example, the whole of Marte LGA is still under BH control. Most communities outside of the LGA head quarters are still inaccessible due to BH infestation. The Army needs to do more or allow the vigilantes to take over