Suspected Boko Haram terrorists attacked the convoy of the Yobe State governor, Mai-Mala Buni, along the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway, killing two police officers and injuring two others including a soldier. The incident happened as the governor’s motorcade was returning from the 24th convocation of the University of Maiduguri, Borno State on Saturday. According to an eyewitness, who was on the entourage but spoke on the condition of anonymity, the attackers opened fire on the convoy from both sides of the highway, targeting the pilot.
“We narrowly escaped death today. The convoy was attacked between Beneshiekh and Mainok, a distance of less than sixty kilometers to Damaturu after attending the 24th convocation of the University of Maiduguri. “The insurgents opened fire on the convoy from both sides of the road, killing one policeman instantly while the other died later due to too much bleeding following bullet wounds. As a matter of fact, we left Maiduguri late, around 6.00 pm,” he said.
The governor’s spokesperson, Mamman Muhammed, revealed on Sunday morning that his principal boarded a flight to Abuja from Maiduguri for an official assignment.
“He was not in the convoy when his entourage was attacked, but top government officials including the Secretary to Yobe State Government, Baba Wali, were caught in the attack.“Two policemen and a soldier were injured in the ambush, they were evacuated in an ambulance in the governor’s convoy and one of the police officers later died from the bullet injuries,” Mr Muhammed said..
The attack on the governor’s convoy is believed to have been carried out by Boko Haram, whose more than a decade-old armed conflict against the Nigerian state has claimed the lives of thousands of people.
Since 2009, the North-east states Yobe, Borno, and Adamawa in particular – have been the theatre of the violent campaigns of the Islamist group. The group later morphed and became a franchise of the Islamic State terror group. It was later renamed the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). The terrorists also carry out pockets of attacks across Nigeria’s North-east region.
The attack on the governor’s convoy points to an escalation of the activities of the group in recent times. Last month, the group was blamed for an attack on a Yobe community. More than 30 people were killed in that attack.