The Defence Headquarters has replied the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on the accusation that soldiers were responsible for the attack on his convoy last week Wednesday in Baga, a town in Kukawa Local Government Area of the state.
This newspaper reported how Mr Zulum survived an ambush by gunmen while on a trip to Monguno and Baga towns to distribute food to internally displaced persons (IDPs).
In his first reaction, the governor wondered why the army has not been able to secure Baga despite the number of troops deployed for over a year.
A day after the attack, in a Channels Television video seen by PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Zulum said what happened to him was a complete sabotage from the military.
“It is a complete sabotage… I cannot end my interview without clearly stating what happened yesterday. As far as I am concerned, there was no Boko Haram yesterday (Wednesday). It was a serious shooting by the Nigerian armed forces while ‘residing’ in Baga. The situation is very embarrassing,” he said.
Many Nigerians including Borno residents have accused the army of using Baga to control the multi-million naira fish business along the Lake Chad area, an allegation the army had denied saying soldiers found engaged in such would be disciplined.
Last week, the army had said it was investigating the attack on the Borno governor’s convoy.
On Wednesday while speaking on Channels TV Politics Today programme, the Coordinator, Defence Headquarters Media Operations, John Enenche, said findings from the footage of the attack show that it was Boko Haram that attacked Mr Zulum’s convoy.
“It is an allegation which needed to be probed and also, I must say for such an allegation, it calls for worry on our part as the high command of which we went into action immediately,” Mr Enenche, a major-general, said.
“We investigated it immediately and the strategic level is cleared of that; operational level cleared of that, tactical level, cleared of that. We analysed the video: you will discover from the sound of the gunshots, it is not the professional weapons that we use.
“And of course, if you have operated with an enemy for some time, we call it enemy habit. From the analysis, it was purely that of the enemies, Boko Haram, in that area. From the tactics, and from the search conducted, it was the insurgents.
“So, our fears were allayed within 48 hours. It is not anything sabotage from the tactical, operational and strategic level, that is if you want to rate it from rank down to the person on the frontline.”
Borno is the state most affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria.
The insurgency has claimed over 30,000 lives and displaced millions of others.