16 women kidnapped as survivors narrate ‘shocking’ details of Boko Haram ambush of ‘secure’ convoy

Nigerian Army
Nigerian Army

Some survivors of the Tuesday morning ambush on a convoy of dozens of vehicles under armed escort have narrated their woes blaming the security agencies for poor preparation.

The survivors also confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES that 16 women were among those kidnapped by the Boko Haram after the ambush.

The ambush, at about 10 a.m. on Tuesday, was on a large convoy of commercial, private and government vehicles travelling from Maiduguri to the southern part of Borno State, passing through Damboa.

Armed escort of soldiers is often required to travel through the recently reopened Maiduguri-Biu federal highway.

The road, which also has a link to the gates of Sambisa forest, had been closed for about two years after Boko Haram captured towns and villages along its axis. It was only opened for commercial motorists in February 2016.

But since its opening, Boko Haram gunmen have staged several attacks on vehicles plying the road.

The latest of such attacks was that of Tuesday morning, which occurred at Abbari-Dalwa village located about 30km from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.


The Borno State Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu, had in a press briefing informed journalists that two people were killed during the ambush

The casualty has now been confirmed to be at least three.

In a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the Borno State Commissioner of Health, Haruna Mshelia, said of the three trucks conveying drugs and related items to the health facilities in Damboa and Chibok, only one was able to escape and made it to its destination.

“It was indeed a sad development; but it is one of those hazards that one confronts in situations like this,” he said.

“We lost the driver who was shot at during the attack and one other person with the driver who tried to take over the steering before he too was shot at and the vehicle summersaulted.

PREMIUM TIMES was able to confirm from a security personnel who witnessed the incident that the second person referred to by the health commissioner was an escort soldier in the vehicle.

The police commissioner had on Tuesday confirmed that a police sergeant, Bala Tiiseh, was also among those killed; thus bringing the casualty to three.

The Nigerian military is yet to issue any statement on the attack.

Mr. Mshelia also said the driver of the second truck who could not manoeuvre an escape with his truck amidst the confusion, had to flee leaving his vehicle behind.

“The insurgents took the second vehicle away, but the soldiers are still trying to trace and rescue the vehicle,” he said.

“But the driver of the second vehicle has since arrived Maiduguri safely, while the third vehicle conveying drugs to Chibok got to its destination safely as well.”


A member of the Borno State House of Assembly, who represents Chibok Local Government Area, Aimu Chibok, was among those that escaped from the attack.

In a phone chat with PREMIUM TIMES, the lawmaker described the incident as “embarrassing”.

The lawmaker, a retired senior police officer, blamed the military and police for poor management of the situation.

He said he was in the same car with the Vice Chairman of Chibok Local Government Area as well as the District Head of Chibok when the gunmen opened fire on them.

The officials were on their way to Chibok to witness a federal government project that was to be flagged off in the town, he said.

The vice chairman sustained a bullet injury on his thigh, while the district head was hit in the arm. Both of them are currently receiving treatment at a hospital.

“It was a huge embarrassment to our government and its security outfits”, said the lawmaker who felt the attackers had prior information on the movement of the convoy from Maiduguri.

“From what I observed, it appears the terrorists had information that three trucks loaded with drugs would be passing through that route”, he said.

“And secondly, they may also have been aware of the fact that there were also in the convoy a large deployment of police officers (who) would be packed in a school bus.

“To me it was improper for armed policemen to pack up like sardine inside a bus on such kind of journey.

“It was only God that helped even helped the policemen.

“My vehicle was right behind the 80-sitter school bus conveying the 63 policemen. Just as the driver was trying to negotiate a bend, we started hearing loud shooting from all sides. The bus driver could not manoeuvre the bend, so he had to abandon the bus and fled while the police officers in the bus continued to escape through the window amidst the rain of bullets from the insurgents. As our vehicle tried to drive pass the bus, an RPG was fire at the bus, which scattered it.

“You needed to see how the shooters were going after their fellow human beings as if they were animals”, he recounted.

He said the shooting lasted about 30 minutes.

“The insurgents were all dressed in black attires as they continued to shoot without ceasing for a second. It was very embarrassing seeing armed policemen running for their dear lives because they found themselves in an unfavourable situation. It was a shame to see what happened that day, especially in a country that prides itself as one of the best in West Africa.

“The method of escort provided for more than a hundred convoy of vehicles was the worst I have ever seen in my life. It was too poor.

“But in our case, all the four escort vehicles were leading ahead without any one behind, or in the middle of the convoy. If not that the escort vehicles managed to reverse back to engage the attackers; they would have roasted the hundreds of passengers in the convoy.”

The Borno police commissioner had earlier confirmed the 63 police officers were in a bus when the attack occurred.

“It was based on that approval by the IG that one officer and 62 men of the Nigeria Police Mobile Force were deployed from Delta State to Askira,” Mr. Chukwu said, explaining how the officers were recently deployed to Borno based on a request.

“And the vehicle conveying the deployed unit who were in an 80-sitter bus, had to join the convoy of civilian travellers being escorted by the soldiers,” he added.

But the Borno lawmaker, Mr. Chibok, faulted the arrangement.

“I pity those policemen who were put into that kind of conveyance,” he said.

“How could a deployment of policemen who were all armed be packed inside a bus and ridiculously being escorted by other security operatives. They are supposed to be their own escort since they were all armed, for God’s sake.”

The lawmaker said Nigeria might not get out of the Boko Haram insurgency in the next ten years unless the military changes its strategy by taking the war to the insurgents in the bushes.

“We can’t continue like this; we have to take the war to them; waiting for them to come and be repelled cannot help us.

“I have served in the Nigeria police force for 35 years, but I have never witnessed such kind of embarrassing situation in my life”, he lamented.


PREMIUM TIMES also gathered that the 16 abducted women were driven away in a TATA truck by the insurgents.

The identities of the victims are being kept for safety reasons.

A police officer who was also privy to the arrangement for the transport of the women said on phone that all the 16 were driven away by the insurgents after the driver was killed.

“When the Boko Haram were attacking, the males in the TATA truck were able to quickly jump off the vehicle, but the women could not; that was how they were rounded up and driven away by the Boko Haram,” the source, who sought anonymity as he was not permitted to speak to journalists, said.

An unconfirmed report that reached PREMIUM TIMES late Wednesday evening indicated that some of the kidnapped women were found somewhere in Damboa.

The police, however, denied knowledge of the kidnap.

“I don’t have any such details of such abduction or rescue,” the Borno Police Public Relations Officer, Victor Isukwu, said in a text message response to our enquiry.


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  • Shift Luther


    • Abdulmalik Ibrahim

      utangirma ala where are you

      • Shift Luther

        am here in Nigeria

      • Otile

        Don’t ala, say Allah. Are you not a good Muslim, don’t forget that this is a period of fasting.

  • Freedom Bini

    See Reason why the Stated Kidnapped Chibok Girls are HOAX?

    • Edward Osadebay

      If you have nothing meaningful to contribute, please stay away. It is very painful to see people play with serious issues as if they have no conscience.

  • George

    What are they waiting for again quickly move the army command to that gates of Sabeasa forest very easy anywhere the Boko Haram attack the army command must be move there until the boko haram are finished.

    People with little brains when they willfully supported boko haram at the initial stage thinking when the boko haram finishes killing the Southern Christians they will stop but today God is total revenge is at work and until the Northerners are fully paid for their evil deeds they will never have peace.

    God will never have mercy on them until they confesses what they known about the fake chibok girls.

  • Nicodemus

    Please can someone give me Lie Muhammad’s phone number. I will like to inform him about this latest development.Boko haram has been technically defeated., yet escort soldiers are being killed, women still being kidnapped. Shame on APC.

    • adakole

      A primitive inhabitant who to his myopic and limited reasoning believes life revolves around APC, PDP..a lowlife….unfortunately they are in the majority

      • whereto

        They are not in the majority. They are only loud and make a nuisance of themselves everywhere.

      • KBE

        Oh it’s no longer about the body language of the new sheriff in town. I think it’s the APC affair and that they have defeated the boko haram. Sai baba shege Buhari. Yeye.

    • James Ojapa

      Lai Mohammed that one, that one just runs his mouth. APC shame. Since they know they cannot protect people on that road. Why bother opening the road in the first place?

  • Edward Osadebay

    The issue here is not really about Biko Haram ambushing or employing a strategy of grab and run but the responses of our military. I thought by now knowing the potency of this so called rag tag army for such venture, that the military would be prepared at all times. Why for instance was a military plane or attack helicopters not scrambled to this ambush site immediately? If they operated for nearing 30 minutes and just 30 kilometres from Maiduguri and even absconded with a truck loaded with medical supply, surely they won’t out run an helicopter. Didn’t the military high command in Maiduguri know about this particular convoy and the involvement of soldiers from that command? Why was not the convoy not monitored airily. It is just sad.

  • otunga

    “An RPG was fired at the bus and scattered”….”the shooting continued for 30 minutes”…And they tell us “only 3 people died”…i’m so tired of this geographical space with its unrepentantly primitive and native inhabitants.

    • Epsilon_Delta

      The TATA truck obviously belongs to the military, hundred must have been killed.

  • GusO

    The organization of convoy escort by our military and police is very disappointing. It makes me question the qualifications and training of the officer Corp of the Nigerian Army and police forces. Something is very wrong. First, who decided that the military escort vehicles (four in all) should stay in front of the convoy? You don’t have to be militarily trained to have the common sense to disperse the escort vehicles within the convoy, one in the front, another in the back and the other two placed within the convoy but not next to each other. A modern army will also have helicopter patrolling above the convoy, ready to dispatch any terrorist with missiles from above. The police as rightly pointed out by Mr. Chibok, should also have been dispersed all over the convoy and not be packed as sitting ducks into one bus. More importantly, the escorts in an Army befitting of Nigeria, should be in armored cars bristling with weapons, ready to deal exemplary blows on any Boko Haram terrorists that dare to challenge them during the escort service.A But they don’t have modern fighting equipment while our NASS leadership and politicians equip themselves with armored automobiles and together with the generals loot the treasury dry of funds that would have been used to equip the military with modern weapons as well as develop the country’s infrastructure. The military is not showing any common sense in what they do, when we expect professionalism. Gen Buratai should place qualified officers to lead the war with Boko Haram and lobby the political leadership to obtain the modern weapons we need. If Boko Haram is not fought intelligently, APC will eventually also lose power like the bubbling PDP before them.

    • thusspokez

      In the West, one could walk into most electronic shops and purchase drones. I happen to have three — each one bigger and more powerful than my previous one. For $5,000, the SSS could buy a military-grade patrol drone. This is cheap compared to buying a helicopter or spy plane. One of these drones could accompany the convoy and serve as look-out for danger from the sky.

      • musa aliyu


        • thusspokez

          (Bloody google, ever since I used the word “drone”, I now have various adverts popping up on this page advertising drones.)

      • GusO

        I agree that they also need drones, which are cheap by the way, to serve as look-out for Boko Haram terrorists. My desire for the Army Escorts to also have at their disposal, attack helicopters is the ability of the military to destroy the terrorists from the air before the need for ground engagements in the interest of the safety of the citizens in the convoy.

  • dan

    It is a pity that our police officers are only trained to run when attacked by armed robbers or gunmen than to fight back.

  • thusspokez

    Some survivors of the Tuesday morning ambush on a convoy of dozens of vehicles under armed escort have narrated their woes blaming the security agencies for poor preparation.

    The SSS is damn useless. It needs to have local spies in very household — and provide them with mobile phones or walkie talkie radios and emergency contact numbers; it needs drones flying over these dangerous areas 24/7 on look-out for boko haram. The SSS and Police have no clue. The army is overstretched and can’t be at everywhere fighting boko haram and also protecting the liberated areas.

    • Mahmat

      You are totally right.

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    Did they not say certificate forger and perjurer Muhammadu Buhari has defeated Boko Haram ni? Yeye dey smell.

    • Papa Oghworiodo (Effurun)


      I am looking for the difference between Muhamadu Buhari and Goodluck Jonathan.
      When Chibok girls were kidnapped Goodluck Jonathan did not know on that day.
      Yesterday too, when Boko Haram captured 16 women, Buhari did not know that.
      His deputy, Yemi Osinbajo too, did not know anything and did not even find out.
      So, what is the difference between Buhari/Osinbajo and Goodluck Jonathan?
      Is it after Boko Haram impregnates the 16 women these Osinbajo will know?
      You people must start to save yourselves because there’s no government.

      • Otile

        Indeed this is a quasi government formed to protect Fulani rapists and looters. Don’t you see how quickly Pastor Osibande stepped in to protect his master Fulani Sanusi? Osibande aborted the probe of his master to avoid his disgrace. In a civilized country this is obstruction of justice which would lead to the downfall of Osinbajo, but not in Nigeria.

  • Otile

    Nigeria under the present structure cannot work. Islamic Northen Nigeria practices the biggest women kidnapping in the world, yet they dishonestly blame Igbo. They need more kidnapping to produce more babies in their baby factories called IDPs. Backward people.

    • systematic

      u don’t have sense go back to school

    • Karl Imom

      Kidnapping originated in SE when Obasanjo was President. It doubled its efforts under President Goodluck Johnathan’s watch. Because it contributed to cash flow in the SE states, you did NOT see it as a problem to you and you never wrote a word about it. EVANS the Kidnapper was an Igbo success story and a symbol of Igbo ingenuity. It damn too late for you turn the story of kidnapping against the North. You will only hear what you do not want to hear.

      • 0tile

        The first time anybody heard of kidnapping in Nigeria was when one Mohamed Buhari from Daura North kidnapped Alhaji Umaru Dikko in London. Ever since that time Islamic Northern Nigeria has not left kidnapping. The modern Northern youths known as Boko Haram have elevated kidnapping to unimaginable levels, Fulani herdsmen cant even beat them.

    • Mahmat

      C’mon Otile, Karl Imom has knocked you out. Go to the corner and get some rest dummy.

  • ed

    Boko Haram are not only in the bushes but are in the military and Police forces.
    Boko Haram are part of the greater Fulani’s/Hausa community.
    Buhari government has no desire to finish them. President Buhari need Boko Haram and Fulani’s terrorist herdsmen to continue the terrorist activities. Even though he claimed to have defeated them.

    • Karl Imom

      Boko Haram was established in Nigeria by PDP under the leadership of Modi Sherif – former governor of Bornu State and now PDP Chairman. For six years he was President Goodluck Johnathan’s henchman as Boko Haram went on rampage in the North East. You must be highly psychotic to blame Buhari for the acts of Boko-Haram in Nigeria.

      • Tony

        And what about when he joined APC and campaigned for Buhari? Always call a spade a spade bro..Thanks

    • thusspokez

      You lot never say something sensible; your specialize is balderdash!

  • Usman Musa

    This is Boko Haram that has long been defeated technically and their sambisa forest base captured. This war can never be won, except their sympathizers, (who give them information) in the army and govt are first identified and dealt with.

    • Remi

      You are spot on Usman. And what griefs me most is that with
      all the Generals, Brigadiers, Colonels etc. and all the Intelligence agencies, that
      we have, everyone seems bereft of how to root out the moles within. At the very most, Boko Haram and
      their sponsors and friends are about 1 million in number, but there are still
      169 million of us who are not Boko Haram. Does their effortless success each time mean
      that this 1 million are more intelligent than all of us?

      • Jaja Majaja

        The 1 million are not more intelligent , my friend, the 169 million are simply tired.
        Now its siddon look.

        • Remi


          Evolutionary psychology dictates that we behave in ways that will ensure the continual survival of our genes. It often commonly manifests in the law of self-preservation. So, why are we behaving in contrary ways: spending so much of our resources on a military that is apparently out of its depth in it’s task of protecting us?; why are our political leaders – who control and fund the military – not asking probing questions for their – oh sorry, our – money? It beats me how a people seem to be engaging in “siddon look”, which in itself is tantamount to going to hell in handcuffs.
          Sadly, we have a military that is fighting an insurgency without intelligence, in spite of all the intelligence agencies that we have. The last time I knew, we had eleven (11) agencies which either have intelligence as their core, or secondary, function; yet, we seem not to know much about this insurgency and those behind it. As that retired Police Officer turned Politician observed in the report in question, we have to take this war to the insurgency, in the bushes, and this requires intelligence.
          Conversely, maybe what we are seeing here is that dictum that you cannot effectively fight a cause you do not believe in. While the Boko Haram have a cause they believe in, and are ready to die for, our soldiers probably do not have such equivalent cause, in Nigeria.

    • GusO

      If the Nigerian Army had sophisticated weapons such as attack helicopters and armored cars to guide convoys, the enemy will be destroyed at long distance even if sympathizers informed Boko Haram that they were approaching their ambushes. Eventually, Boko Haram would have given up because their military situation would be hopeless. The politicians and the Army Generals should stop stealing the money we have as a country and let the troops be equipped. Nigeria deserves a modern army and not just the braggadocio that we are the giants of Africa when our Army can’t take on a small country such as Chad.

    • Mahmat

      I really agree with GusO because if we cant fish out the moles quick enough to keep our strategies secure, for God’s sake let us arm our security forces to the hilt so that they can take hell to the door step of Boko haram. Imagine packing 63 armed police officers in one truck within a hostile environment; I think it was deliberate. I am from Borno state and God knows if I am young enough I will join the military and request for posting to Maiduguri.

  • Karl Imom

    Meanwhile, Gen.Buratai has left his military post in Maiduguri as he tries to build an empire for himself. His latest victim is Benue State – where he has effectively moved Military College of Technology to his hometown of BIU. The last time I heard about him, he was transforming that college to a Military University in BIU. Was Buratai appointed Military Chief to run Military Schools? President Buhari moved this man to the war zone in Maduguri to end the war. Instead, he has abandoned his Military Post in favor of moving schools to his hometown. He should be fired!!

  • Intrepid

    Boko haram has come to stay with the North. Unfortunately for Nigeria this monster will be used for different purposes, depending on the political climate. Nigeria is in a big trouble.

  • Northeast

    We are in a mess that only Allah will free us. How can a 30 km distance from Maiduguri pose a problem of reinforcement? I am a military man but in a situation like this in the north east, there must always be a standby team that will respond to distress call from the escorts. There is the need for the following :
    Borno State government must take clue from Yobe and Adamawa states where local hunters compliment the efforts of the military by advancing ahead as they are well aware of the terrains and hideouts of these criminals. Without involving the local hunters, the scenario in Borno may not change.
    May Allah protect the innocents while all those who have hands in this mess, may Allah the Most High deal with the culprits severely such that permanent peace will return to the the North East region and the country at large, amen.