A large crowd of Borno residents, on Wednesday, booed President Muhammadu Buhari as his convoy drove from the Maiduguri International Airport to the centre of the city.
Buhari, upon returning from a five-day trip to Ethiopia for an African Union summit, paid a condolence visit to the North-Eastern state, following a Boko Haram attack on Sunday.
As his convoy moved to the city at 1:30pm, he was booed by residents, who lined up along the airport road.
On Wednesday, the people, who were dissatisfied with the upsurge in Boko Haram attacks in the state, lined up along the airport road and shouted in Hausa Bama so! Bamayi!, meaning “We don’t want,” “we’re not interested.”
There have been sustained attacks by insurgents on roads leading to Maiduguri. Recently, no fewer than 30 travellers, including children and women, were burnt to death by insurgents, who invaded Auno, 20 kilometres to Maiduguri on Sunday.
One of the residents, Abba Yusuph said the people of the state were fed up with the President’s failure to restore peace to the state after five years in government.
“The President was elected and equally re-elected on the grounds of providing security and pushing Boko Haram out, up till now that has never been done.
“We cannot travel outside the town without fear. We just have to pray that we are not killed on the road while the insurgents keep moving closer on Maiduguri. There is hardly any family that has not lost a loved one.”
An elder statesman, Dr Junaid Mohammed, said the booing of the President by residents of Maiduguri was a sign that the people were getting tired of excuses.
Buhari, at the Palace of Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar El-Kanemi, sought the cooperation of residents of the state for the military to win the war against the insurgents.
Addressing traditional rulers and other prominent Borno indigenes at the palace, he said, “The cooperation of your people with our troops and other security agencies by providing credible information could end insurgency not only in Borno but other states of Yobe and Adamawa.”
Before the President spoke, the state Governor, Babagana Zulum, had urged him to deploy troops in Boko Haram hideouts in Sambisa Forest and Lake Chad region. He said the insurgents launched their attacks from their hideouts in the forest and Lake Chad, as well as some of the caves at Mandara Mountains in the Gwoza Local Government Area.
The President’s media aide, in a statement later in Abuja, stated that Buhari, during the visit, promised to deploy “harder”, “vigorous” strategies against Boko Haram terrorists.
“I assure you that improvement in security will be pursued vigorously. The military will work harder and strategise with tactics to deal with the insurgents. This is however not possible without good intelligence and cooperation with local community leaders.”
Few hours after the President paid a condolence visit to the town, Insurgents launch another attacked on Maiduguri, Many residents of Jiddari Polo, 0n the outskirts of Maiduguri, had to flee into the town as insurgents attacked the community at 7:30pm.
Attempts by the insurgents to move into Maiduguri town were repelled by the military who engaged them in a shoot-out, according to the people fleeing from the area.
One of them, Mary Isa, told our correspondent that residents had run out of their homes for fear of being attacked or hit by bullets.
She said, “I have to scale the fence of my house as the sound of gunfire rent everywhere. We are in bushes as we are still afraid to come out of hiding.”