By Babajude Kolade-Otitoju
During my working visit to Borno State last week, I visited Auno, one of the most dangerous areas in Borno state, where Boko Haram killed about 30 travellers in the evening of 9th February 2020, after storming the place in gun trucks. They also set ablaze 18 cars. Most of the dead were burnt beyond recognition, while scores of women were kidnapped. Auno is about 24 kilometres west of Maiduguri. Most of the victims were waiting and even sleeping in their vehicles because the Army had shut the road to Maiduguri when the attack began.
I wanted to ask the residents how they were coping after numerous attacks on their highway and constant kidnapping of travellers. The residents told me they were happy to be alive, and prayed that the kind of attack that happened in February won’t happen again. I was accompanied to Auno not by soldiers but by a very courageous man, Engr Abba Lawan Wakilbe, the Special Adviser to Governor Babagana Umara Zulum on Project Monitoring, Evaluation and Special Projects.
After we got back to Maiduguri, the Chairman of SUBEB, Borno State, Dr. Kullima, and the speaker of Borno state House of Assembly, Lawan Abdulkarim told me I shouldn’t have gone to Auno because it’s a dangerous place. “Why did you go to a dangerous place like Auno? Forget the fact that there are army checkpoints on your way”, Kullima wondered, adding that “the terrorists can easily overrun an army checkpoint.” But God is the ultimate protector. He took me to Auno, Mafa and other places in Borno state and he brought me back home safely. Here I am in Auno, Borno state with the residents.