Babagana Zulum is the governor of Nigeria’s Borno State, which borders, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon and has been the epicenter of the Boko Haram conflict since 2010. On 26 September, the excerpted article for, which reports on current affairs in Nigeria, discussed Zulum’s visit to the town of Baga on Lake Chad’s shorelines. The visit resulted in calamity when, according to the article, 11 anti-Boko Haram vigilantes and police officers were killed in an ambush by Boko Haram’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-loyal faction.

The articles notes that Zulum praised the commitment of the fallen vigilantes and police officers. In addition, Zulum reflected on why Baga is strategic for Boko Haram, which previously unsuccessfully attacked Zulum’s convoy in Baga in July. Zulum asserts that Baga is the largest fishing hub on Lake Chad and is connected to numerous villages. This is why Boko Haram uses the town’s access to Lake Chad for charging taxes on fishermen and accumulating wealth for its militant pursuits.

The article also mentions the context of Boko Haram’s attack on Zulum’s convoy. Zulum has been promoting the return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to their hometowns, including Baga, so that life for Borno civilians can return to normalcy. Boko Haram’s operations to disrupt Zulum’s plans for IDP resettlement, however, demonstrates that the government cannot effectively govern, which weakens the government’s legitimacy.

The article, therefore, highlights Nigeria’s quandary in seeking to end the war in Borno. Boko Haram is still too capable of carrying out sophisticated ambushes for there to be peace in the state, while IDPs face insecurity if they attempt to return home from IDP camps. Zulum’s comments after this latest ambush, however, indicate that it is an imperative to continue the process of IDP resettlement and the military must redouble efforts to prevent further Boko Haram ambushes or disruptions of humanitarian operations. 

Baga, Borno’s largest fishing community in the shores of the Lake Chad with waterways to neighbouring countries is considered strategic to Boko Haram’s operation.

Source: “Gov. Zulum Of Borno State Breaks Silence On Boko Haram Ambush Of His Convoy And Death 11 Persons,”, 26 September 2020.

Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno has condemned the killing of eight policemen and three members of Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) in an ambush by Boko Haram terrorists in Baga, Kukawa Local Government Area.

Zulum was in Baga from as part of the efforts to resettle people back to their community after displacement by Boko Haram insurgents. According to him, the visit to Baga was “aimed at cutting Boko Haram’s long use of the commercial town as main transit for undertaking major fishing trade and tax administration, from which the insurgents fund their murderous activities. Baga, Borno’s largest fishing community in the shores of the Lake Chad with waterways to neighbouring countries, is considered strategic to Boko Haram’s operation,” the governor said.

The governor prayed for the repose of their souls and urges all stakeholders to remain committed to the ongoing peacebuilding efforts.

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