NNPC Ambush: UNIMAID Vice Chancellor faults Nigerian Army, says nobody rescued

University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID)
University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID)

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Abubakar Njodi, on Friday lashed out at the military over claims it made that it had rescued oil workers that were recently ambushed and captured by Boko Haram fighters.

The crew of geologists and their aides were from the university and were subcontracted by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

Mr. Njodi had earlier said the institution had been engaged in providing consultancy services to the NNPC in the Lake Chad region.

A livid vice chancellor, whose brother was among those killed, faulted claims made last Wednesday by the spokesperson of the Nigeria Army, Sani Usman, who had told the media that soldiers had rescued the kidnapped officials.

Speaking during a condolence visit paid on him by officials of the federal ministry of petroleum, the vice chancellor said he still could not understand why the Nigeria Army chose to mislead the world with the spurious claims.

“The military said it has rescued all the geologists working for NNPC. I wonder how can the recovery of corpses be referred to as being rescued,” he said.

Mr. Njodi said his staff were out in the danger zone carrying out the oil exploration services after the security operatives had assured them of their safety.

“We are all at liberty to guess now as to whether security was provided or not,” he said.

“We have lost four vibrant members of our academic staff in that incident. None of the affected lecturers put in less than ten years in the university. For me to get a replacement for them would be difficult. We are talking of a department that has about 12 to 13 members of academic staff. Four of them are no more.”

The Minister of Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, had on Thursday also said the exploration only continued after security assurances by the military.

Mr. Kachikwu also announced a halt to oil exploration in the Lake Chad Basin until the military assures of better security in the area.

The leader of the visiting delegation to the vice chancellor, Saidu Muhammed, who is the Chief Operation Officer of Gas and Petroleum services of the petroleum ministry, had earlier delivered a condolence letter on behalf of the minister of petroleum to the vice chancellor.

He said the ministry would continue to strengthen its partnership with the university despite the “hiccups” that happened this week.

Earlier, during a similar courtesy visit by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, Mr. Njodi confirmed to journalists that the deceased were two geologists, two technologists and a driver from the institution. PREMIUM TIMES had reported the burial of the driver, who was a brother to the vice chancellor.

Mr. Njodi added that four other staff were still missing: two lecturers, one technologist and a driver.

He explained to the education minister why the university had entered into a partnership with the NNPC.

“In our commitment to contribute to the country’s economic development, we defied the odds and joined the operation. Initially, we reluctantly accepted to go back and joined the operation, but we were assured of adequate security.

“The deceased (victims of the insurgency) should be immortalised, they deserve the national honour,’’ he added.

Boko Haram gunmen had on Tuesday attacked a crew of geological scientists from the University of Maiduguri who were assisting the NNPC in carrying out surveys in the Lake Chad region where the federal government believes there are chances of getting new deposits of crude.

The military had said it lost 9 soldiers and that the missing NNPC officials were rescued.

However, even the military casualty is believed to be higher as about 18 corpses of soldiers who lost their lives in the bloody rescue mission were said by hospital officials to have been brought into morgues in Maiduguri alongside about 30 other civilians casualties. The total unofficial death toll is believed to be 48.

The attack came few days after the Nigeria Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, issued a 40-day ultimatum for the commanders of the counterinsurgency operation to secure the arrest of the Boko Haram leader ‘dead or alive.’

A rattled President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday night directed that all the service chiefs relocate to Maiduguri to personally supervise the counterinsurgency operation.


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  • FreeNigeria

    Welcome to the lying administration of Buhari, liar liars pants on fire. Nothing good comes out of this administration except frivolous lies.

  • Salihu umar

    The spoke person should resign.

  • Salihu umar

    The Army spoke person should resign.

  • Fernando Luis

    The stinking brainwashed APC supporters will now believe buratai and Lier mohemed are feeling them with fake achievement in order to credit the brain dead man of daura who will soon resign to look after his sickness.

  • The Optimist

    The Nigerian Army has become notorious for lie telling, always jumping out with lies to the nation, from Chibok girls to killing Shekau and now NNPC exploration team. In a civilized country, the Army spokesperson will be dismissed if he does not resign voluntarily. He has forgotten that there is a word called credibility? May be the army has lost it!

  • AryLoyds

    Animal Kingdom. What were you guys doing in that shit hole ? They is no oil there , only cow urine !

  • Justice Equity

    This country will continue to be the scorn of the earth until Nigeria separates the shaff from the wheat in names of restructuring, a nation that chose an old sick grandpa ,who is illiterate, clueless, clannish, religious, ethnic ,parochial, hate bigot ,to rule over them in a Democracy, is an unfortunate geographical expression.
    48 innocent citizens murdered just like that and yet no shaking for brutai,no shaking for buhari and no shaking for the brigade commander.
    It is a very sad era for Nigeria, it is indeed a very sad era for patriotic citizens, it is indeed a very sad era for decent people all over the world.
    This was happening in borno,and yet Governor shetima who supposed to be the chief security officer of borno state was Summersaulting in Kaduna and suffering convulsions because of a flag and drums dancing armless nnamdi KANU and ipob.
    Shame on this people ,shame on a generation that chose to acquire women like clothings and breed children like English rats only to bewitch and throw them into garbage dumps and the streets to become cloned vampires with human skin.
    May God peaceful separate this lugard abominable, so that those who desire to live like devils can have their liberty and stop been a clog in the wheel of the progress for reasonable people.

  • Foreign Reels


    “He (Muhammadu Buhari) has not articulated a clear strategy to
    defeat the insurgency, but one of his first directives as president was to move
    the military headquarters out of the capital and to Borno State, considered
    Boko Haram’s stronghold in Nigeria.”

    ………………..Washington Post (America)

    (June 5th, 2015)

    • Public Files Nigeria (P.F.N)


      Between May 29th 2015 and now President Buhari spent over EIGHT (8) TRILLION NAIRA.

      Where is the impact? And if there’s no impact, where is the money? That’s the real question.

      Buhari strikes poses for the camera inside his London house whilst his country sinks in a mess.

      What sort of presidency is this? Not one thing made better but instead made worse in a year!

      • Econometrics2000


        BUHARI’s government is becoming not

        so much bumbling as sickening. It is now a ceremonial presidency for
        photographs, tours and travels to London, and nothing else sensible. It would
        have been hilarious if it were not tragic that a presidency ushered in by
        wholly ignorant masses has proved irrelevant and worse than useless to be
        considered a solution to Nigeria’s existential crises as 28 million youths are
        officially recorded as un-employed today, and as Buhari’s ignorant rule shrank
        Nigeria’s national economy for the first time in 25 years; collapsed aviation
        industry with only four airlines flying with two planes each, and with banks
        and manufacturing companies shuttering and retrenching thousands of workers,
        in response to Buhari’s mindless devaluation of the national currency by 64%;
        simultaneously with 62% hike in pump price of petrol – both of which shot
        inflation up by 17.1% and tripled costs of goods and services across the
        country over against stagnant wages, thus deepening poverty.

  • 0tile

    Where are the Yoropigs with their insults? This is not about Igbo, Kanu or Biafra they would have infested every landscape. Where is fake lawyer koyade soyemi, has he become deaf and dumb?

  • Arabakpura

    Major General Olukayode told the same lies in the time of Jonatha! What is really wrong with us?

  • smart G

    The rise of insurgency at this time has a political undertone….Now there is every reason to push Osinbajo out just like Jonathan was…Only Buhari or a northerner has the answer to BH.

  • Frank Bassey

    We are fighting corruption.

  • Remi

    Relocation of top commanders
    will not solve the problem. The real problem is that the Boko Haram (BH) have better intelligence than
    our army & are in full control of the rural areas, and the army either does
    not know this or she is unable / unwilling to do anything about it. What the
    army needs to do is to fight this war with real and actionable intelligence and
    wits, and they are sadly failing spectacularly in this department.

    The ambush we are talking about here is not a chance one,
    the ambushing party surely had
    foreknowledge of the itinerary of the NNPC party and they were ready for them. First off, the army needs to look among
    itself, and conduct intensive counterintelligence operations within, as she has
    a lot of moles inside. Strangely, top army brass hats – retired& serving –
    know this and yet these moles seem to be able to get away with their acts of
    sabotage. Shettima once related how old women were given about N5000 by Boko Haram operatives to convey weapons
    to operation sites and children the same
    amount to gather intelligence. The question is, why can the myriad intelligence
    , and intelligence-related, organisations
    that we have not double the sums and get intelligence too or better still turn these “spies” and “gun
    runners”? As that saying goes, “by way of deception, thou shalt do war”, we
    need to draw these guys (BH) out and hit
    them, more especially with the supposed advantage of our air resources / platforms – drones, attack
    helicopters & fighter jets. I also think that it is time to start holding
    commanders, at all levels, responsible for the failure or success of the operations
    they plan and this should start with the logistic operation which led to the kidnap of 10 Policewomen and
    this one. Any commander found to have been negligent or culpable
    should be promptly dealt with according to military law. Additionally, we need
    to get hard on the captured insurgents too. Our neighbours have promptly put captured insurgents on trial and executed
    them, why can we not do the same thing or, at least, imprison them for long

    An open, but often unacknowledged fact, is that BH gets majority of it’s arms from the
    armoury of the Nigerian security organisations; yet, the army / police seem unable to stop this.
    Government also needs to realise that, this is war and the gloves need to come off,
    especially in dealing with the known organisational, State and individual sponsors
    of this insurgency.

    • Okey Agugua

      Your suggestions are good. But unfortunately, Nigerians are being misled. Boko Haram is not a bunch of hungry looking amlajiri that is being shown on the pages of newspapers to deceive Nigerians. They are well trained and well funded military. Take this from a person that knows what is actually going on there. Some Northern generals decided to train and equip their Muslim brothers to fight against the Nigerian army. Truth must be told some day, very very soon.

      • Deovolente

        Are they not the same group of people masquerading as “Cattle Herdsmen”?

        • Okey Agugua

          I cannot say what i do not know. I do not know about those herdsmen. Boko Haram is well funded by the Northern people. Nigerians are being deceived. Right inside the Sambisa forest is a military facility built by a former head of state. During Obasanjo regime, there was intelligent report that some military personnel are being trained in that very facility and Obasanjo wanted to move against them but relented. Only ignorant morons in the army signs up to go to Maiduguri. The war on Boko Haram is fake. Shekau is fake so do all you see over there. Morons are getting killed by highly trained Northern Nigeria secret army. I am supporting Nnamdi Kanu.

      • Remi

        You are correct. I have personally never for one moment believed the denials of the northern traditional ,religious & political power elite that they do not know anything about BH. Anyone who is familiar with the sociology of northern Nigerian society, would testify that nothing of the magnitude of the BH insurgency could have been going on in any part of the north , without the knowledge, and dare I say, blessings of the elites of that region. Government knows these people and she should really assert herself in this matter, one way or the other – I hope you understand what, and how, I mean? The thing with those behind this thing is they know how to dish it out, but are weak at taking it, in other words, they are bloody cowards. And once government turns on them, they will rein in their dogs of war.

        • Okey Agugua

          Which government are you talking about? IBB built a military facility in Sambisa forest. Buhari knows what is was being used for. Brother ,Boko Haram war is fake. I will never allow anybody i know to go over there and die for nothing sake. They are using Boko Haram to siphon money from our treasury. Nigerian government and Niger Republic are financing Boko Haram. Boko Haram war is a huge joke. A house divided against itself will never stand. Nigeria is a joke of a country.

          • Remi

            While agreeing with you that Nigeria is a joke of a country, however, I will caution you against believing conspiracy theories. It is only mad people who self-harm, otherwise, why would Nigeria and Niger Republic be funding BH, in order to harm themselves? Nigerian politicians are barefaced crooks and thieves and they do not need to create BH in order to steal money – they can easily go to the CBN, cart away the money with impunity, and “nothing will happen”, as they always say. Just like us, Niger Republic is suffering from the rampages of BH; and they have gone to great lengths to curb BH activities. For example, they have banned the Hijab and other forms of Islamic dressings for women, when they were lending themselves to use as suicide bombers – an act which I believe would have caused an uproar in Nigeria, had it been introduced.
            I am not sure about your claim that IBB built a military facility in Sambisa forest. However, I know that our north east borderlands have always been problematic security-wise since the 1960s and successive governments have been paying lip service to enforcing security there. Due to the long running notoriety of the north east borderlands for cross-border criminality, gun running and smuggling, Obasanjo (on his second coming) initiated the establishment of the Multinational JTF (in Baga) to police / secure the area, and they do not seem to have made a good job of it.
            When you say that the BH war is “fake”, are you saying that people are not being blown up, kidnapped, captured and killed in combat? Are you suggesting that nothing is going on in the Borno-Adamawa-Yobe (BAY) States and that what we read about everyday are just concocted stories? The BH insurgency is a jihadi-salafi movement, with long running precedents in that area, and one which is actively supported by sections of the populace and the security services.
            While I understand where you are coming from, I will say to you that whether, or not, you recognise them, Nigeria has a power elite pretending to be in charge and who are recognised internationally, as such. All I am saying is that those who claim to be the Government should do what governments elsewhere do, namely, take full charge of the: integrity of the borders of the country they claim to govern,
            and it’s internal security . And, it takes only will and wits to do so, no more , no less.

          • Okey Agugua

            I still maintain what i said earlier. IBB built a military facility for the National guard right inside the Sambisa forest. The same base was used to train the Boko Haram soldiers. Boko Haram is a Jihadist movement . Boko boys are no rag tag army. They are well trained and highly equip military force. The war is fake in the sense that the same people you see on the telly and other news media shouting at Boko Haram are the same people funding it. This is no conspiracy story. If there is a way i can see you in person, i shall disclose to you things Nigerians do not know. We are being deceived. The truth will be out very soon. How is Nigeria and Niger Republic harming itself with Boko Haram?

          • Remi

            It still doesn’t make sense to me that there could have existed all this while, as it now seems, a secret military facility inside Sambisa forest, that no one except you knows about. However, I am prepared to give you the benefit of the doubt that you may have superior information to what I know about the National Guard and Sambisa forest.
            I have never believed that BH was a rag-tag army: people who can maintain and drive tanks, competently fire AA guns and artillery batteries cannot sure be rag-tag. I once read the analysis of one of their attacks, whose video they posted online, written by one Nigerian, ex-U.S. Army Officer and it convinced me that they were actually professionals. There is no doubt that there are ex-military / security servicemen (probably originating from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroun etc.) among them and it is also known that some of them trained in Afghanistan, Mali and Somalia. We should also not forget that two of our neighbours to the north-east had previously fought civil wars, which makes the areas adjoining the BH operational field replete with combat veterans, who are mainly jobless or underemployed, and could very easily be financially-induced into the BH insurgency. This further makes me dubious about your claim about IBB’s military facility for training BH insurgents in Sambisa.
            I agree with you that those who are shouting most about BH are the most complicit in it’s activity. A former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, once said that he stopped attending meetings of northern leaders, called to deliberate on the BH issue, because he invariably ended up seating down with the self-same peoples causing the problem, in an attempt at “solving” it.

          • Okey Agugua

            If you have a relative in the army who served in Maiduguri, please try to interview him on what he actually saw.

          • Remi

            Many thanks for this piece of information and advice. I think I know some people I can speak with. Not really army, but should be in the know anyway.

  • Gbenga

    Am surprised at the comment of the vc, though I empathised with the families of the deceased. But do u know the number of innocent soldiers that are died daily cos of this Boko Haram carnage. Please visit all our military barracks to see widows and orphans. All we should be talking is what is the echelon of the military doing in terms if inelligent gathering and keep praying for God intervention to end this menance

  • zacchaeus Akinleye

    We can’t be declaring victory over Boko Haram without securing the vast Sambisa theater of operations. Army propaganda about the capture and killing of insurgents are sounding like mere embellishments. A reevaluation of tactics and achievable goals needs to be done immediately to stop the bleeding. Maiduguri is now less safe and citizens sense of despair are rising.

  • okun

    This is a mindless carnage whose genesis Government shoudl have unraveled before now. Imagine the countless lives of Nigerian soldiers killed all because some power drunk politician is using Boko Haram for political agenda. It would seem to me that if the present Government does not go to the root of Boko Haram the so called integrity it is supposed to bring to governance will remain a charade and gross deception. Please PMB the great question you have to answer before you leave power is who are the founders and sponsors of this group and how are they sustained in terms of weapons and logistics?

  • emmanuel

    Same way Shettima promised security for the Chibok school girls and reneged. We heard this week, how one of the girls said they were never provided a single security when Boko Haram struck.
    We understand, Buhari has squandered Nigeria money on another failed sesmic test, so they shamelessly end the panorama

  • Deovolente

    This government had better stop their practice of releasing Boko Haram prisoners. Those terrorists should not be released for any purpose whatsoever. Each time Boko Haram members are released the group get stronger and deadlier. Those terrorists should be put on trial immediately they are captured and hanged as soon as they are found guilty of terrorism and treason.

    • Alhaji

      Not only does Buhari release them, he also compensates them with millions of dollars / naira. How will his boys not continue their Islamist terrorism when are these remunerations are there for them.

  • Roland Menegbo

    The Nigerian Army should be scribe, some of them are too old,too fact and eat too much food.they are only good at killing the defenseless Ogonis from Niger Delta region and takes away their oil money to build Abuja and there North Caliphate ideas, Oh Jesus touches the hearts of the Yoruba’s and let them realizes that the South shared nothing with the Northern Republic of Boko haram.

  • Netanyahu

    The problem with Nigeria and southern Nigeria in particular is the Yoruba muslim. Not one of them will come out here now to comment. The moment Nnamdi kanu or ipob is mentioned, they will abandon whatever they are doing to come and insult Ibos and call names. The reason awusa/foolani are doing what they are doing with impunity is because of their recruits in the south waste, the islamic yorubas. Every average sensible Nigerian understands what the awusa/foolani stand for, but yorubas out of needless hatred for Ibos will pretend, even at the risk of losing their lives that all is well.
    For the army, whoever believes the tales by moonlight of the Nigerian army needs his head examined. They lost all credibility when AI labeled them terrorists similar to boko haram for killing unarmed civilians, starting with the Shiites sect in Zaria in 2015. They shamelessly tell needless lies that are easily verifiable. In other climes, this sani usman would have been fired from the army. How could he claim that the university staff have been rescued when he knew they had been killed. What a heartless beast.

  • McAlfred Uta

    Why is Tukur Burutai not instituting operation “sahel dust” to finally nail Boko Haram with all the huge loss of valuable and irreplaceable human lives. If it is NDA that takes no lives, the creeks of the Niger Delta will be swarming with Operation Crocodile tears. Is anybody still aghast as to why all government functionaries now lie through their nose? Most of them may have graduated from Liar Mohmmed’s school of debauchery, deceit and denial of truth.