Senator Ali Ndume, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Army, has described the killing of the Commander of the 28 Task Force Brigade, Chibok, Brig-Gen. Dzarma Zirkushu, on Saturday by the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) fighters as a revenge mission.
Senator Ndume (Borno South) spoke to journalists in Abuja on Sunday about the recent attacks on Askira in Borno by ISWAP terrorists during which Zirkushu, some soldiers and many terrorists were killed.
UGAMATV had reported that the Brigadier-General, who was a commander in the Nigerian Army, was killed in an ambush by ISWAP terrorists in Borno State.
The incident occurred at Bulguma, a few kilometres from Askira town in the Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno.
UGAMATV had earlier reported that suspected fighters of ISWAP engaged the troops at a military base in the Askira/Uba LGA in a gun battle.
Some civilians had said they sighted the ISWAP fighters in a long convoy of gun trucks along Ngude axis towards Askira, early one morning.
The civilians had claimed they reported the movement of the terrorists to security forces but no action was taken before the deadly group stormed Askira town hours later.
But Ndume on Sunday said the ISWAP fighters targeted Zirkushu to be killed.
“ISWAP terrorists attacked a town there. They knew that the General was the major obstacle to their operation. They laid an ambush and rammed a bomb-laden car into his vehicle.
“He was a gallant soldier. He took the fight to the terrorists. His death has sent panic to people in that area,” he said.
Ndume, therefore, urged other security agencies in the country to support the army, saying ISWAP fighters were regrouping in the Lake Chad area.
“I want to express my condolences to the Nigerian Army over the death of the General who died along Chibok road.
“For now, we’ll assume that it was an isolated case. But the intensity with which they came is worrisome.
“They (terrorists) came with more than 10 gun trucks. They’re also regrouping around Borno North. That’s the Lake Chad axis.
“The military is aware and the Air Force is providing surveillance in the area. It was a revenge mission. The army has been taking out key ISWAP commanders and they had their revenge,” he said.