Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume had a near death experience after jets belonging to the Nigerian Air force mistook his convoy for that of a Boko Haram cell and dropped bombs on the ‘target’.
The Senator representing Southern Borno Senatorial District was shaken up after the incident, barely escaping death as his security detail drove to the nearby army base to seek sanctuary.
Addressing newsmen after his ordeal, Ndume said, “I thank God for sparing my life as the jet which I suspected was on military operation against Boko Haram dropped four bombs on my convoy, he said.
“I went to Gwoza. I notified the police and military authorities of my presence where they even assisted me with security cover, and when I finished with my mission at about 2:10pm, we started hearing explosions.
“Initially, I thought it was Boko Haram that wanted to attack me, but when we were thrown into confusion, the soldiers attached to my convoy rushed to me and said it was not Boko Haram, but rather, an Air Force jet that was dropping bombs. We had to run into a military base close to the scene of the incident and take cover.”
Meanwhile, NAF authorities has confirmed that the jet mistakenly fired shots at Ndume’s convoy while in pursuit of some Boko Haram suspects who were operating in the area at the time Ndume was passing.
Speaking in Abuja, Director of Air Force Public Relations, Air Commodore Yusuf Anas, described the incident as unfortunate.
Anas added that during the pursuit of the attackers, “the jets flew low and opened fire on a set of vehicles, about five or more of them including Hilux vans that were carrying the terrorists.”
“But because the aircraft could not ascertain one of those on the ground, no further action was taken. If Senator Ndume was in one of the vehicles, it is unfortunate but the fighter jets were not in a position to know the occupants of the vehicles.”
Ndume was arrested by the States Security Services, SSS, on November 21 2011, after a self-confessed spokesman of the sect, Ali Sanda Umar Konduga, fingered him as one of the major sponsors of the sect.