The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has spoken on the Boko Haram attack on oil explorers that caused over two dozen deaths.
Mr. Osinbajo described the victims as “extraordinarily selfless Nigerians from the NNPC and the University of Maiduguri,” saying they “put their lives on the line that we and generations to come will enjoy the resources of this land. We will never forget that sacrifice.”
In a statement by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, Mr. Osinbajo also paid “tribute to the resilience, courage and bravery of officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces for their gallant endeavours and sacrifices.”
PREMIUM TIMES had reported the last week attack on geologists and their aides who were on an oil exploration to Lake Chad Basin when they were ambushed.
The Army has since confirmed that at least 14 soldiers, 11 civilian joint task force, CJTF, and five staff of the university were killed in the attack and subsequent rescue efforts.
The university staff were subcontracted by the state oil firm, NNPC, for the exploration exercise.
At least four staff of the university are still missing with three of them in the custody of the terror group. The three were shown in a recent Boko Haram video begging the government to negotiate for their release.
In the statement on Sunday, Mr. Akande said Mr. Osinbajo has “ordered the continuation of search and rescue missions to locate and ensure the freedom of all remaining abducted persons as soon as possible.”
Read Mr. Akande’s full statement below.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo condemns the appalling ambush, attack and abduction of soldiers, and civilians who were carrying out their duties to the Nation in the Lake Chad Basin Frontier Exploration.
The objective of this patriotic exercise is to open up new areas for oil exploration for the common good of all Nigerians. The terrorist attack resulted in a number of deaths of hardworking and innocent Nigerians, and the abduction of some.
Mr. Osinbajo commiserates with the families, relatives and associates of those who lost their lives in the despicable onslaught and wishes the injured speedy recovery.
The Acting President after an emergency meeting with the Military chiefs on Thursday issued fresh directives to the Nigerian military and all security agencies to immediately scale-up their efforts and activities in Borno State in order to maintain a strong, effective control of the situation and secure lives and property.
While commending the military for the progress already recorded with the rescue of some of the abducted, Mr. Osinbajo has also ordered the continuation of search and rescue missions to locate and ensure the freedom of all remaining abducted persons as soon as possible, using all available and expedient means in the circumstances. He adds that justice would be pursued for the victims and against those who engage in this kind of unacceptable, criminal and terrorist conduct.
Acting President Osinbajo pays tribute to the resilience, courage and bravery of officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces for their gallant endeavours and sacrifices for the peace, security and territorial integrity of our country. He eulogises the Nigerian soldiers who have paid the ultimate price in this mission and others linked to the current insurgency, and gives a firm assurance that the welfare of the families of the soldiers will be prioritized.
He also commends the diligence of the management and staff of the NNPC, and the lecturers/consultants from the University of Maiduguri in pursuing Federal Government’s resolve to grow our country’s current crude oil reserve base through potential exploration in the Lake Chad Basin, stressing that the government will by no means be dissuaded.
He said : “some of these extraordinarily selfless Nigerians from the NNPC and the University Of Maiduguri put their lives on the line that we and generations to come will enjoy the resources of this land. We will never forget that sacrifice”
Although pockets of terrorists have been launching attacks recently in Borno State, the Acting President assures the people of the State, the region and indeed all Nigerians, that the FGN is not only on top of the situation, but will define the end of these atrocities by both winning the war and winning the peace in the North-east.