Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
A former Borno State Governor, Senator Kashim Shettima has advised the Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) to set up an inquiry into the killing by suspected Boko Haram of 30 travellers along the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway on Sunday.
Shettima, who is now representing Borno Central senatorial district, gave the advice in a statement released yesterday.
He said the Defence Headquarters should speedily constitute a credible panel that should transparently generate facts on how 30 passengers lost their lives on Sunday night in Auno, Borno state.
He said: “In recent days and weeks, there has been growing resurgence of unfortunate attacks by the callous Boko Haram in some parts of Borno state. Of them all, the incident at Auno on Sunday night has been the most dehumanising and disturbing.
“As Senator representing Borno Central where Auno is situated, I have the option of lobbying my colleagues and sponsoring a motion for the Senate to constitute an investigative panel on the Auno incident, which clearly begs for some answers. However, as someone who knows first-hand the number of soldiers that have given their lives to protect the people of Borno State, I will prefer to concede to another option.
This option is that the Defence Headquarters, which coordinates and supervises all components of the Nigerian military, should immediately constitute a multi-stakeholder panel of credible persons that should speedily gather all the facts relating to the Auno incident.
“The panel should as a necessary condition, request representatives from Borno State Government, Auno community, bereaved families, transport unions etc.”
He said: “The fact-finding, which should be concluded within days, is to ensure justice and fairness for the victims and to prevent future occurrence, particularly by looking into the most acceptable and efficient manner motorists can be managed in the midst of the insurgency that we hope is ended soonest.”
The former governor commiserated with the families whose loved ones were affected by the attack, the people of Auno, the state government and the entire people of Borno State.