Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno decried the killing of eight policemen and three members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF), who were ambushed in Kukawa Local Government Area on Friday.
Zulum lamentation is contained in a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media and Strategies, Malam Isa Gusau, in Maiduguri on Saturday.
The governor said that two convoys; one belonging to the governor and the other conveying members of a Committee on Baga Reconstruction had safely passed the Maiduguri-Baga route previous days before the third convoy of security men was ambushed.
Zulum was in Baga from Thursday to Friday as part of the efforts to resettle the people back to their community after displacement by Boko Haram insurgents.
According to him, the visit to Baga was “aimed at cutting Boko Haram’s long use of the commercial town as main transit for undertaking major fishing trade and tax administration, from which the insurgents fund their murderous activities’’.
“Baga, Borno’s largest fishing community in the shores of the Lake Chad with waterways to neighboring countries is considered strategic to Boko Haram’s operation,’’ the governor said.
Zulum was saddened by the unfortunate carnage and shared the grief of families of the 11 priceless heroes “to whom Borno shall remain grateful for their commitment and sacrifices’’.
The governor prays for the repose of their souls and urges all stakeholders to remain committed to the ongoing peacebuilding efforts.
He said people must continue to keep hope alive “even in the face of tribulations’’.
He also believed that with sustained efforts and prayers, Borno will eventually regain peace.
“The situation facing us is a tough one but we must choose between doing something, which gives us some hope, and doing nothing, which will leave us more vulnerable to Boko Haram’s ultimate wish to takeover Borno and bring it under their sovereign brutal administration.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the governor attended Jumma’at prayer in Baga town with thousands of people.
He was accompanied by Sen. Abubakar Kyari, (Borno North), House of Representatives members representing Marte, Monguno, Nganzai, Mohammed Tahir-Monguno, and that of Mobbar, Kukawa, Guzamala, Abadam federal constituencies, Bukar Kareto among others.
NAN report that Baga town was displaced by the Boko Haram insurgents two years ago, forcing thousands of people to take refuge in Monguno and Maiduguri, the capital of the Borno.