A roadside bomb attack by the Boko Haram terrorist group reportedly hit a military convoy on Monday, killing a lieutenant-colonel, his driver, and orderly.
Four other soldiers suffered critical injuries in the attack which took place in Borno State.
The tragedy occurred amidst fresh reinforcement against terrorists and bandits in the North.
Another lieutenant colonel and troop’s commander, Ibrahim Sakaba, had suffered similar fate six months earlier.
Sakaba had fallen to terrorists’ bullets in Metele, Borno State, in a bloody battle that reportedly saw the fall of about 120 soldiers.
According to reports, the officers of 145 Task Force Battalion were on an anti-terrorism patrol when an improvised explosive devise planted by the Boko Haram went off at about 9:30a.m. on Monday.
The tragedy happened along the Mauli-Borgozo Road, still a fortress of Boko Haram in Borno.
Reports indicated that reinforcement was dispatched from 29 Task Force Brigade in Benisheikh and 154 Task Force Battalion to recover bodies and rescue wounded soldiers.
Two gun trucks and a Tata truck were amongst the military hardware damaged by the explosion, according to the reports.
So far, the military has not issued any statement on the incident.
Meanwhile, troops are said to have strengthened attacks targeted at the terrorists in the states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa in its latest campaigns in the North-East.
Meanwhile, bandits on Sunday attacked and killed six members of the Civilian Joint Task Force in Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara, Vice Chairman of the council, Alhaji Sani Galadima, said.
Galadima made this known on Monday when he received the Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdurrahman Dambazau (rtd), who was on a visit to the state as part of efforts by the Federal Government to find sustainable solutions to the security challenges in the state.
“Six members of Civilian JTF were attacked and killed yesterday, Sunday, by the bandits after receiving their payments from Shinkafi town and were on their way back to their villages,” the vice chairman said.
He added: “Even yesterday, these bandits sent a letter to the district head of Shinkafi town (saying) that they were coming to attack Shinkafi town.
“This ugly situation is very disheartening; everyday we pay millions of naira as ransom to these bandits.
“We really need government’s urgent support to end this problem.
“Our women also suffer a lot (because) the bandits attack communities and abduct ladies from their parents’ homes.
“People no longer sleep with their two eyes closed in the night in Shinkafi LGA.
“We want the government to solve the issue of shortage of manpower including the army and police personnel.
“We only have 19 soldiers in this town.
“We need urgent intervention from the government; we are not satisfied with the efforts and strategies of security agencies.
“We all know the camps where these bandits stay; even the security men are aware of these camps; our major concern is that security personnel are not getting to these bandits.
“We are hoping that with this visit, this problem will come to an end,” he said.
According to Galadima, at least 98 communities in Shinkafi LGA have been deserted due to the activities of bandits in the state.
In his remarks, Dambazau, who was also in Anka Local Government Area, said that he was in the state on assessment visit to stakeholders over the security challenges facing the state.
He said that President Muhammad Buhari was concerned about the security situation in the state.
“This is not my first visit to Zamfara; we started this process to ensure lasting solutions to these problems not only in Zamfara State.
“President Buhari asked me to visit Shinkafi and Anka Emirates in Zamfara to carry out the assessment and discuss these issues.
“The president also expresses his condolence over loss of lives and destruction of properties as a result of this insecurity.
“It is the responsibility of government to ensure lives and property are secure.
“That is why as government we must do everything to ensure the end of this situation.
“We commenced this process by meeting with leaders of Miyetti Allah; we are going to consult with traditional rulers and governors of the most affected states,” Dambazau stated.
The Emir of Shinkafi, Alhaji Muhammad Makwashe-Isah, expressed appreciation to the minister for the visit and urged the Federal Government to do more in fighting banditry in the state.
Similarly, the chairman of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) in Benue State has raised the alarm over the recent abduction of four of its members and the death of one.
Two of the nurses were abducted at the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, while one was abducted at Katsina-Ala.
The other health worker was killed following insecurity in the area.
While speaking with journalists in Makurdi on Monday, the chairman of the association in the state, Comrade Esther Akpai, stated that the lives of members of the association were in danger.
She stated that three of the victims fell prey to their assailants in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, a situation which prompted NANNM to call for the closure of the General Hospital in the area following the insecurity that had engulfed it.
He also explained that complaints to government and security agencies in the state had fallen on deaf ears.
According to her, despite the closure of the General Hospital in the area, criminals were still on the trail of its members.
She said: “As at last year, two nurses working at Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi, were abducted, one in Katsina-Ala, and one health worker was killed during the crisis in Katsina-Ala.
“Due to the crisis in Katsina-Ala, we advised the Health Management Board to close down the state General Hospital in Katsina-Ala and it has been shut down.
“Yet they (criminals) are still running after nurses in Katsina-Ala.
“You know, nurses work on three shifts, but the second shift closes at 9p.m, and the third shift resumes at that time; so at that time, they were going home and were exposed to attacks.”
Asked to comment on steps taken by the state government and security operatives to arrest the security challenge faced by her members, she said: “At any point we have such issues, we draw the attention of government and security chiefs in the state, but there has been no response.”