NIGERIA’S ongoing security crisis suffered another major setback this weekend after Boko Haram terrorists dressed in military fatigues and posing as army officers abducted a United Nations (UN) member of staff along the Damaturu-Maiduguri road in Borno State.
Since 2009, Boko Haram has been waging a war against the Nigerian state as it seeks to create a fundamentalist Islamic enclave governed by strict Sharia law. During this period, Boko Haram have raided military facilities, carting away large caches of weapons belonging to the Nigerian Army and have also got hold of their uniforms.
As a result, Boko Haram fighters now appear in military fatigues whenever they go into combat, which has enabled them to fool unsuspecting members of the public. This weekend, Abubakar Garba Idris, also known as Alooma, a senior protection assistant with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was abducted.
During the raid, Boko Haram terrorists ambushed vehicles conveying commuters near Matari village between Minok and Jakana along the highway. One source said that the terrorists, in military uniform, mounted a roadblock with three Hilux pickup truck and motorcycles.
He added: “Witnesses said while searching the passengers, Idris attempted to throw away his ID card but one of the insurgents sighted him. He was then asked to step down from the vehicle along with two others, while the rest were allowed to continue the journey.
“The other two passengers were later released on the ground that they are very poor people and of no use.” In recent years, terrorist groups have targeted UN facilities and its staff in Nigeria and in July 2020, the UN warned that insurgents operate checkpoints.