The convoy of Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum again came under attack earlier on Sunday as he made his way out of Baga.
Zulum had departed Baga at about 10:30 after a two-day visit to receive indigenes of the town back home after 21 months of exile.
The journey was impeded a few kilometres away from Baga, as unknown assailants believed to be Boko Haram insurgents opened fire on the Governor’s escort.
The convoy was being escorted out of Baga by the military who replied the gunshots and cleared the way for the governor.
The attack comes barely 48 hours after Borno State government officials were ambushed on the same route while travelling to Baga to join the governor who had flown in via an Airforce chopper.
Reporters on the ill-fated convoy say sixteen persons were confirmed dead while the whereabouts of an unspecified number of people can still not be accounted for.
Members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) working with the state government’s resettlement committee to clear shrubs from the road for clearer vision, also reportedly disappeared after the attack.
Zulum said in an interview in Baga before taking his leave, that he is saddened by the lives lost in the Friday attack, and pledged to support their bereaved families.
The governor has since arrived Maiduguri, the capital city after successfully performing the resettlement issue that took him to Baga.
Meanwhile, former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar over the weekend condemned the attack as a major source of worry for the country.
Atiku said new strategies are necessary to deal with insurgency, even as he mourned with family of those deceased in Friday’s attack.
“The attack on Gov. Babagana Zulum in which over a dozen security operatives were killed between Monguno & Baga should be a source of concern not only because it is the second time such an attack is taking place in recent times, but because the Borno governor is not a soft target”, he said in a statement.
“This attack is yet another reminder that we need to adopt new strategies to deal with the menace of insurgency decisively. I convey my condolences to the families of the deceased. I solidarise with the government and people of Borno that Gov Zulum did not come to any harm”.
Governor Babagana Zulum’s convoy was attacked Friday by Boko Haram terrorists along the Baga Highway in Northern Borno.
The incident reportedly happened, when the convoy was heading to Baga town ahead of government’s planned return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Maiduguri.
This is coming barely two months after the Governor and his convoy were attacked around the same axis by the terrorist group on his way from Baga.
The area is believed to be dangerous and has recorded many abductions by the terrorist group in recent times.
It was learnt that Zulum was not part of the convoy as he travelled by helicopter.
But about three soldiers, seven policemen were killed while an unverified number of people were injured.
The attack, it was gathered, happened at about 12pm some kilometers away from Baga.