The convoy of the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on Friday, September 25, was reportedly attacked by terrorists linked to the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP), killing 15 security personnel in the process.
According to security sources, eight policemen; three soldiers; as well as four members of a government-backed militia were killed in the attack on vehicles carrying Zulum to Baga town on the shores of Lake Chad.
The insurgents, according to one of the sources, opened fire with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades; as the convoy was passing through a village; close to the headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
“Governor Zulum escaped unhurt; but 15 security men on the convoy were killed in a fierce battle with the terrorists,” he said.
Indeed, insiders say it took the intervention of some of his military escorts who threw themselves in the line of fire to ensure the safety of the Governor.
Meanwhile, the Presidency, on Thursday, September 24, urged British lawmakers to work with the Federal Government; towards redressing the rampant killings in Nigeria; and not to fall for propaganda churned out by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and others.
Specifically, this appeal by the Presidency was contained in a statement the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Garba Shehu.
Shehu issued this statement in response to a petition the British lawmakers wrote to the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland; and dated September 14.
The petition was co-signed by Baroness Cox, Baroness Kennedy; Jim Shannon; Fiona Bruce; also former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams, as well as 14 others; whereby they called on the Commonwealth to conduct an impartial probe into the killings in Nigeria and also bring the perpetrators to justice.
According to the British lawmakers; the failure of the Buhari-led government to protect Nigerians remained a breach of the Commonwealth charter.
But, the Presidency in its statement entitled ‘British lawmakers; legal experts; and campaigners should work with President Buhari; not fall for propaganda,’ said: “We welcome the attention paid to this serious challenge by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group and seek to work with you; the Commonwealth; and all concerned parties to bring a lasting solution to herder-farmer clashes; as well as the threat posed to all Nigerians; and also the Sahel region as a whole – from Boko Haram terrorists and their allies.
“The threat to civilians and peaceful co-existence between different ethnic and religious groups from Boko Haram, banditry and land disputes is of serious concern to the President and the government. It is incorrect, however, to assert that the government has or is doing nothing to address these intertwined threats.”