Governor Babagana Zulum has blamed the military for the increased abduction recorded in Borno state which he governs.
Speaking during a visit to Maiduguri-Damaturu road on Monday December 21 following the abduction of 35 travellers on that location, Zulum expressed shock and annoyance on how such magnitude of attack was being perpetrated under the watch of the soldiers and police special squads deployed to protect the highway.
The Governor added that a majority of the attacks within the last two years happened between Auno and Jakana, a distance of about 20 kilometers.
“It is sad and mind-boggling how innocent commuters are being kidnapped and killed on this Maiduguri – Kano road, especially the road linking Maiduguri and Damaturu. It is also very annoying to note that these atrocities are being committed between Jakana and Auno, a distance of only 20 kilometres.”
“Surprisingly we have a Brigade Commander with his team in Jakana; we also have a commanding officer with his battalion in Auno; both teams cover a distance of only 20 kilometres, and they have failed to protect the commuters.
“The Nigeria Army has failed us; they have failed in discharging their role of protecting the commuters.
“This morning while travelling from Maiduguri to Jakana up to Auno, I did not see or sight any single soldier. Even the police-led Rapid Response Squad (RRS) that we established and equipped and enabled to patrol this highway were nowhere to be found on the highway.
Instead, they are busy harassing and collecting money from innocent travellers, both police and soldiers.
“This is embarrassing. Just look at the number of vehicles that have been burnt here, yet we have our soldiers there watching and collecting money from commuters.
“The irony of the whole thing is that no one dares to speak the truth; if you do, they would soon be out to condemn you.
“If the army cannot protect people travelling within a distance of only 20 kilometres, then I cannot foresee the capacity of the army ending this insurgency any time soon.”