Boko Haram: Gov’t pledges prioritization of injured, bereaved families’ welfare

  • As ASUU threatens strike if FG doesn’t rescue abducted lecturers

The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has condemned Tuesday’s abduction of oil exploration workers and members of the civilian JTF in the Lake Chad Basin Frontier Exploration, during which some people lost their lives.

The spokesman to the Acting President, Mr Laolu Akande indicated this on Sunday in Abuja, assuring that Government would prioritise the welfare of the injured, as well as those of the families of the bereaved.

Specifically, the Acting President, according to Akande has also ordered immediate search and rescue of those abducted, while Commisserating with the bereaved families and victims of the attack.

Boko Haram insurgents attacked oil workers carrying out exploration activitay in the Lake Chad Basin area and members of the civilian JTF providing security for them particularly around Jibi village situated between Magumeri and Gubio Local Government Areas of Borno state, leaving in its wake, a number of innocent Nigerians dead with several others abducted.

Pointing out that the Acting President is wishing the injured speedy recovery, the image maker grieved that the exploration activity was to open up new sources of oil for the common good of Nigerians.

Prof. Osinbajo had brainstormed, in an emergency meeting on Thursday with military chiefs, after which he issued fresh directives to the security agencies to strengthen security in Borno State to maintain strong and effective control of the situation and secure lives and property.

He equally commended the military for the progress already recorded in the rescue of some of the abducted persons, in addition to insisting on the continuation of search and rescue missions to locate and ensure the freedom of all remaining abducted persons as soon as possible.

According to Akande, the acting President urged them to use all available and expedient means in the circumstances.

He added that justice would be pursued for the victims and against those who engaged in “this kind of unacceptable, criminal and terrorist conduct’’.

He also paid tribute to the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces for their resilience, courage and bravery.

Akande said that the acting President commended the armed forces’ gallant endeavours and sacrifices toward maintaining the peace, security and territorial integrity of the country.

He eulogised the Nigerian soldiers who had paid the ultimate price in that mission and others linked to the current insurgency and gave the assurance that the welfare of the families of the soldiers would be prioritised.

Akande said Osinbajo lauded the diligence of the management and staff members of the NNPC and the lecturers/consultants from the University of Maiduguri in pursuing Federal Government’s resolve to grow the country’s current crude oil reserve base.

According to him, the Federal Government will by no means be dissuaded in potential exploration in the Lake Chad Basin.

“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,” he quoted the acting President as saying.

Although pockets of terrorists had launched attacks recently in Borno State, the Acting President assured the people of the State, the region and indeed Nigerians of triumph.

He said,“the government 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.’

In the meantime, the Peoples Democratic Party, the Nigeria Labour Congress and civil rights groups, on Sunday, lashed out at the Federal Government for the killing of lecturers and oil workers on their way to the Lake Chad Basin by the Boko Haram sect.

Also, the Academic Staff Union of Universities has threatened to “call out” its members if its abducted members in the University of Maiduguri are not freed.

At least 48 people, including five lecturers of UNIMAID, about 15 soldiers, 11 members of the Civilian Joint Task Force and workers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, were killed on Thursday on their way to prospect for crude oil in Barno Yasu in the Magumeri Local Government Area of Borno State.

The Nigerian Army had, in a statement on Friday by its spokesman, Brig-Gen. Sani Usman, said it had rescued some of the workers, who were attacked by the sect.

Shortly after the Army issued the statement, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said he was not aware of rescue.

In a statement on Saturday, the Army spokesperson, said the error in his earlier statement about the rescue of oil workers was “not deliberate”.

Additional report from Punch