30 People Killed From Insurgency Attack In Nigeria

An attack occurred at 2:00 pm on Friday, September 25th 2020 in Northeast Nigeria against Borno’s regional governor’s convoy, killing 30 people. The governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, was taken away from the attack in an armoured police vehicle and remained safe.

The attack was made by a Boko Haram insurgency: Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). This sect is lead by Abubakar Skekau who is considered the de-facto leader of the entire Boko Haram system. The attack happened while the governor’s convoy rode past the shores of Lake Chad. The ISWAP group currently controls most of that region after initially setting up camps in 2016.

The Borno governor was trying to get to the town of Baga to meet with some of the displaced people who reside there due to the decade long violence in northeast Nigeria. These internally displaced civilians rely on humanitarian aid for food and water; however, Baga is difficult for the aid transport vehicles to reach, so the governor was travelling to provide some aid himself.

During the attack, the ISWAP gained control of 8 Nigerian government military vehicles consisting of an armoured personnel carrier, a gun truck, and six sports utility vehicles from the convoy. The security personnel from the convoy counter-attacked, and the Nigerian Police have stated that the insurgency was successfully repelled.

Governor Zulum spoke about the lives lost during the attack. He stated that the tragedy saddened him and that he and shares in his grief with the families affected—especially those of the 12 dead police officers.

Borno’s state helmsman also made a statement following the attack. He declared, “The Government will not publicly announce the nature of support so that it does not appear as if the support equalled the values of the lives of those killed”.

In terms of next steps, the Nigerian National Coordinator and member of the Concerned Advocates recently made a statement. He said, “In a couple of days, we have resolved, to write to the United Nations, about the need to increase their intervention in ending the activities of the insurgents in the North East, especially the BAY axis of Nigeria, Borno, Adamawa, Yobe.”

The violence between the various rebel groups and the Nigerian government has been ongoing since 2009 and has killed over 36,000 Nigerian people. The main concern of the rebel groups is overthrowing the current system of government (an elected 4-year presidential system, similar to the system in the United States) in favour of an Islamic state regime. The rebellion began as one group called the Boko Haram, however, after the death of the founder, Yusuf, disputes have since occurred between executives on how best to show the dominance of the Islamic state. This caused Boko Haram to fraction off into different sects, one of which is ISWAP.