The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on Nigeria’s security sector.
The decision followed a motion of Urgent Public Importance moved by the Chief Whip of the House, Mohammed Monguno, during plenary presided over by the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila.
The motion was tagged “Recent Attack by the Boko Haram Insurgents at Auno Village, Borno State”.
Monguno, who presented the motion, said commuters on the Damaturu-Maiduguri road were compelled to suspend their journeys once it was 6 p.m due to security challenges in the Northeast.
“Auno village is one of the spots where the Nigeria Army forces instruct the commuters on the Damaturu-Maiduguri road to spend the night before proceeding their journeys the next morning.
“On Sunday, February 9, 2020, while commuters in their hundreds were waiting in the Auno village, the military men left them to their fate or at best abandoned them,” he said.
Monguno also expressed concern that while the commuters were waiting to spend the night, Boko Haram insurgents attacked, kidnapped and burnt some of their vehicles.
“The occupants of two Hummer Buses and one Sharon Bus were kidnapped, 18 vehicles burnt and 30 people killed, including an infant,’’ he said.
The lawmaker said that the non-existence of a “super Military camp” on the Damaturu-Maiduguri road was exposing commuters to dangers of being “killed, maimed or kidnapped”.
He added that keeping commuters waiting at night was dangerous in view of the security challenges in Nigeria, especially the Northeast.
The Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta), who also supported the motion, reiterated the call for the removal of security chiefs.
The House, however, urged the military authority “to henceforth stop the keeping of commuters overnight at a particular period on the Damaturu-Maiduguri road and allow them proceed on their journeys after 6 p.m.”
The lawmakers directed the House Committees on Army, National Security and Intelligence to investigate the remote causes of the attack.
The green chamber also directed the Committee on Army to look into the setting up of super camps in Auno, and the withdrawal of the military from checkpoints.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army says its troops of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) have continued to neutralise more terrorists, capture gun trucks and cache of arms in several encounters across North-East.
The Nigerian Army Operations Media Coordinator, Col. Aminu Iliyasu, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja.
Iliyasu said that the troops had continued to sustain the ongoing counter terrorism operations, making life unbearable for the marauding remnants of the Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West African Province (ISWAP) criminals.
He said that the troops of 25 Task Force Brigade in conjunction with civilian JTF unleased superior fire power on some ISWAP terrorists at Njaba along Damboa-Bale road on Sunday.
According to him, several of the insurgents were neutralised while others escaped with gunshot wounds at the end of the encounter and one of the terrorists named Koise Bulama was captured alive.
“Items recovered from the terrorists are; one Buffalo gun truck, one anti-aircraft gun, three machine guns, two AK47 rifles and 141 rounds of 12.7mm ammunition.
“Others are one suicide vest, one Improvised Explosive Device Box, 10 motorcycles, one pumping machine and some mechanical tools.
“On the same day, some elements of Boko Haram suffered yet another defeat in the hands of troops of 121 Battalion in Pulka, Gwoza LGA in a failed attempt to attack the troops location.
“The dogged troops repelled the attack and neutralised one insurgent in the process while others retreated in disarray under the cover of darkness,’’ he said.
Iliyasu further disclosed that troops of 112 Task Force Battalion deployed at Ngwom in Mafa local government also thwarted an attempt by the Boko Haram terrorists to infiltrate their defensive location.
He added that the troops neutralised one of them while many of them escaped with various degrees of gunshot wound as evident from the trails of blood discovered along the insurgents’ withdrawal route.
According to him, the troops recovered one Baofeng Hand Held Radio, one Rocket Propelled Gun bomb, 101 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition and two rounds of 60mm mortar bombs abandoned by the escaping criminals.
Iliyasu added that the troops of 212 Battalion deployed at Tungushe in Konduga local government area engaged some Boko Haram terrorists mounted on six gun trucks and neutralised three of them.
He said that one Buffalo gun truck, one Anti-Aircraft gun, two AK-47 rifles, two AK 47 Rifle Magazines and 60 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition were captured from the insurgents after the encounter.
According to him, one gallant soldier paid the supreme price during the encounter.
“Similarly, on the same day, troops of 3 Battalion (Main) deployed at Rann in Kala/Balge LGA of Borno State delivered a devastating blow on some Boko Haram elements.
“The insurgents attacked the troops’ location in 4 Gun Trucks alongside a number of their foot soldiers.
“The vigilant troops responded swiftly, engaging the criminals in a brief fire fight that lasted for about 20 minutes.
“At the end of the encounter, the heroic troops neutralised two of the criminal insurgents.
“Equally, the troops captured one General Purpose Machine Gun, one AK 47 Rifle, one Baofeng Hand Held Radio and 33 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition.
“It is also heart-warming to note that, seven women and nine children held hostage by the criminals were rescued while two Boko Haram flags, one motorcycle and one motorcycle engine were recovered,” he said.
Iliyasu also disclosed that the troops also arrested 11 high profile Boko Haram/ISWAP logistics suppliers within Biu local government area of the state.