There are jitters in Borno State that the attack on the convoy of Governor Kashim Shettima on Tuesday may be Boko Haram making good its threat to disrupt the national elections in that part of the country.
The fears come amidst reports that Shettima expressed sadness over the deaths recorded in the Boko Haram attack on his convoy on Tuesday. Unofficial estimates put the loss of lives at between three to ten lives.
There is no word yet if any on who fled the attack into the bushes were injured, but most are said to have resurfaced.
A resident of Maiduguri said on phone that the soldiers and security men were parading the streets in a show of force and to calm frayed nerves in the All Progressives Congress (APC) dominated State.
Others could not vouch for such presence in other places outside the capital.
The governor while mourning with the families of the dead expressed shock and disbelief over the incident, at a time he was doing everything possible to end the Boko Haram carnage
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Isa Umar Gussy said Shettima mourned the deaths that followed the ambush of some vehicles in his convoy by suspected insurgents on Tuesday evening along the road to Gamboru, headquarters of Ngala local government area.
The statement adds: “While the Governor is expecting full security briefing to get accurate information on the incident, preliminary report on Wednesday, confirmed the killing of three persons during the attack, which (was) principally aimed to attract local and global media attention in order to sustain propaganda strategy and to instil fear in citizens and gallant troops.
“Governor Shettima who returned at night on Wednesday, will Thursday meet families of those affected by the attack. The Governor will also meet some security heads to review the incident and more importantly, to continue his determined collaboration with all security agencies and volunteers in remaining committed to the ongoing fight against Boko Haram.
“The unfortunate incident will not make the Governor have doubt in the capacity of the gallant and patriotic personnel of the Nigerian armed forces who have dedicated their lives fighting for peace and the freedom of Borno people. The Governor has absolute confidence in the armed forces and given his access to raw updates, he is aware of the successes being recorded by the armed forces despite Tuesday’s and previous attacks by the insurgents.
“For one success recorded by the insurgents, the armed forces record dozens against them. The Governor remains optimistic and urges citizens to be calm, prayerful and supportive of the Nigerian armed forces and volunteers through means that include (as they have been doing) the sharing of useful information.
“Tuesday’s incident happened while the Governor was on his way to Gamboru in continuation of campaigns for the Presidential and national assembly elections coming up on Saturday. The Governor had left Maiduguri on Tuesday morning and stopped for campaigns in Mafa and Dikwa local government areas before heading to Gamboru where he passed the night and returned to Maiduguri on Wednesday.
“He had on Monday traveled to Damasak, headquarters of Mobbar local government area in northern Borno. Before then, he had previously held campaigns in most parts of northern Borno including Monguno where he spent the night. He had also been to all the nine local government areas of southern Borno including Chibok, Gwoza, Askira-Uba and Biu where he spent days.
“The Governor extends his deepest gratitude to friends, associates and other well meaning Nigerians that have shown concern over the incident.”