3 April 2018

Nigeria: Military Sets Up Panel to Probe Deadly Maiduguri Boko Haram Attack

Photo: Nicolas Pinault/VOA
Nigerian army.

The head of the Nigerian military's operation in the North-east, Nicholas Rogers, on Tuesday set up a four-man military panel to investigate the Easter Sunday attack by Boko Haram fighters in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

The army general said the investigation become expedient given the large civilian casualties recorded in the attack.

He told journalists in his office that at least 28 people died and about 80 others were injured as a result of attacks by Boko Haram on two suburbs of Maiduguri.

He said over 10 suicide bombers, accompanied by gunmen, attempted to infiltrate Maiduguri but were stopped at the outskirts.

Speaking shortly after inaugurating the four-member committee headed by an army brigadier, Mr Rogers said their task was to unravel what went wrong and proffer solutions on how to avert future occurrence.

"The committee has been inaugurated by the Theatre Command to unravel what happened and to ensure that such occurrences do not happen again," he said .

"We are going to tighten up security and work with the state government to ensure that the various communities assist us with information."

Mr Rogers, who bemoaned the high casualties recorded in the attack, said it could have been worse had the troops under his command not moved in quickly to stop the attackers from making their way into Maiduguri.

"The chairman of the four-man committee is Brigadier General Henry Wesley, and others are Col. Bassey , Lt. Col Mohammed and the secretary of the committee is Captain Mairuwa.

"This team will visit the location, interact with the state government and the locals in the general area and come up with a report.

"The team has been given three days to complete its assignment so we can forward the report to (the) appropriate security authority for their necessary action," the general said.

While urging the committee to swing into action and turn in their report within stipulated time-frame, Mr Nicholas advised residents to avoid rushing to scenes of attacks because "the terrorists' target is to get large number of people before they carry out their acts."

He said "if people had remained indoors, we won't have had this large number of casualty."

"But in the normal sense in Nigeria, when something happens, people rush out to find out what happened," he said.

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