24 hours after Governor Babagana Zulum came under attack from terrorists, the state capital, Maiduguri on Thursday witnessed multiple bombings which claimed lives and sent residents scampering for safety.
Meanwhile, the state governor is curiously pointing accusing fingers in the direction of the Army over the attack on his convoy.
The Borno State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Aliyu Ndatsu, on Thursday confirmed the death of one person with 16 others injured following three explosions in Maiduguri metropolis.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the explosions occurred in Mairi, Custom and Gwange areas of the metropolis.
Mr Aliyu said the actual cause of the explosions was yet to be ascertained, but Police teams had been dispatched to the areas.
He said: “We have dispatched our Explosive Ordnance Detection (EOD) to investigate the incidents and to determine whether it was an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
“Right now, I am at the Specialist Hospital where we have 16 casualties and one dead so far.”
NAN reports that the echoes from the loud explosions sent many residents scampering for safety.
Security personnel comprising the Army, Police, Rapid Response Squad, Civilian Joint Task Force(CJTF) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were seen rushing to the scene to restore normalcy.
But a Channels TV report gives a different account.
It says at least five people were killed in the triple explosions that rocked State capital.
The explosions occurred on Thursday evening in Custom Area, a densely populated part of the town.
Mr Mohammed Ndatsu, who is the Commissioner of Police in the state, confirmed the attack and the casualty figure to Channels Television.
Although it was not clear what explosive was used for the attack, the police commissioner said only a bomb specialist could explain that.
He added that the attack was carried out by insurgents.
The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Khalifa Ibrahim, has visited the scenes of the blasts for an on the spot assessment.
While the explosives were not person-borne, the first reportedly landed at a shop in the commercial area, killing a furniture maker and his son.
Another explosive was also reported to have landed in a house at Gwange area while a child and a goat were killed.
Two other people were struck in a blast at the third location, bringing the number of those killed to five.
Officials of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) have evacuated the bodies of the victims from the scenes of the blasts.
Over the years, members of the Boko Haram terrorist group and Islamic State’s West Africa Province have carried out such attacks in the state, killing thousands of people in the process.
The terrorist groups have continued to operate in different parts of the North-East, although in recent times, they have come under intense airstrikes from the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole.
The onslaught against the insurgents by military personnel has forced them to the fringes of the Sambisa forest and the Lake Chad area in the region.
Wednesday’s bomb blasts in Maiduguri came a day after the convoy of the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, was attacked in Baga.
Following a fierce gun battle, the governor has been confronting the Nigerian Army over the incident.
He said he was disappointed with the inability of the military to rid Baga and environs of insurgents, accusing the Nigerian Army of sabotaging the government’s counter-terrorism and rebuilding efforts.
The governor alleged that the attack was carried out by the military in an attempt to dissuade him from gaining entrance into the fishing town.
Governor Zulum said, “as far as I am concerned, what happened in Baga is complete sabotage by the military.
“I wondered, we have over 1181 soldiers in Baga, 72 officers, 107 soldiers, 400 soldiers in mile 4 and 1900 soldiers in Monguno, I see no reason why only 5 Boko Haram will stop them from occupying Baga town.”, Governor Zulum added.
“The troops have been in Mile 4 for over one year, there is complete sabotage, the problem is not with President Buhari or General Buratai, but the command and control structure is nothing to write home about.
“There is a need to look into the command structure. We have over 80,000 IDPs in Monguno, they cannot continue to depend on International Non Governmental Organizations (INGO) and others for food, we have to create opportunity for them to go back to their communities and continue with their business and farming activities, after Sallah, we are going to allow people to go back to Kukawa and we will give time to the military, if they will not clear Baga, we will mobilize our hunters, CJTF, and Vigilantes to recapture Baga, we cannot continue like this, people have to take their destiny in their hands,” he added.