30 July 2016
Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has condemned the attack on United Nations aid workers by insurgents in Borno.
A statement issued on Saturday in Abuja by Dogara’s spokesman, Mr. Turaki Hassan, described the attack as barbaric and inhuman.
The attack occurred while a UNICEF humanitarian convoy travelled from Bama to Maiduguri in Borno on aid mission to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Dogara, who, said the attack was regrettable, called on security agencies to further intensify efforts to safeguard the region.
He also said that although gains had been recorded in the fight against terrorism in the northeast, such attacks needed to be curtailed for the region to record any meaningful development.
“This dastardly attack on aid workers further proves that these terrorists are totally inhuman and have no regard for life.
“There are severe cases of malnutrition and many IDPs are in need of healthcare services and food.
“The suspension of aid services prompted by this attack will only worsens the situation as those already in need will be further deprived.
“It is imperative that our security agencies step up their operations and finally consign these attacks by insurgents to the past.
“The northeast is in dire need of all the help it can get and without adequate security, this help will not be forthcoming,’’ the Speaker said.
He also thanked the United Nations for its assistance and support so far, saying “we appreciate the efforts of all aid agencies in comforting and caring for our people in the northeast.’’
While regretting that aid personnel were attacked in the region, Dogara expressed hope that aid activities will resume soon.
Officials of the United Nations were among those injured on Thursday in northeast Nigeria as Boko Haram terrorists ambushed their vehicles as they were returning from Bama where they had gone to offer relief services to displaced persons, officials said.
The convoy was attacked despite being escorted by armed soldiers.
The attacks on the UN officials and soldiers came four days after personnel of Medicins Sans Frontier narrowly escaped being killed by landmines some few kilometres from where Thursday’s ambush attack was carried out.
The landmine incident occurred on Sunday but was never reported in the media because neither the military nor the MSF officials talked about it.
The spokesman of the Nigeria Army, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, confirmed Thursday’s incident via a statement emailed to journalists on Thursday.
“Troops returning from Bama on humanitarian escort duty, were ambushed en-route Maiduguri by suspected remnants of Boko Haram terrorists hiding in Meleri village, a few kilometres from Kawuri,’’ Col. Usman said.
“The gallant troops, however, successfully cleared the ambush and exploited up to Afunori. Unfortunately, two soldiers and three civilians were wounded in the ambush, among whom were staff of United Nations agencies and other international humanitarian organisations.
“The wounded have been evacuated to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Maiduguri, and they are in stable condition,’’ he stated.