The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has expressed sadness over the killing of 11 security personnel in his convoy.
A statement by his spokesman, Mallam Isa Gusau, on Saturday said those killed included eight policemen and three civilian JTF members who were ambushed on their way to Baga as security back-ups in reconstruction efforts.
The statement said the governor was in Baga from Thursday till Friday in an effort to supervise efforts to return residents to the area.
Baga, which is 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.
Gusau revealed that two convoys – one belonging to the governor and another, the committee on Baga reconstruction – had safely plied the Maiduguri-Baga route previous days before the third convoy of security men was ambushed on Friday morning even after precautionary steps had been taken to ensure safe trips.
The statement read in part, “Governor Babagana Umara Zulum is saddened by this unfortunate carnage. He shares the grief of families of these 11 priceless heroes to whom Borno shall remain grateful.
“The governor prays for the repose of their souls and urges all stakeholders to remain committed to ongoing peacebuilding efforts. Zulum is of the opinion that we must continue to keep hope alive even in the face of tribulations and believe 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 statement said the governor attended Baga’s first Jumu’ah prayers in nearly two years.
Baga town was displaced by the Boko Haram insurgents 21 months ago, with most of the residents taking refuge in Monguno and Maiduguri.