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Published On: Sun, Jan 25th, 2015

President’s aides trapped in Maiduguri after rally

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Jonathan-visits-MaiduguriBy Lawrence Olaoye

More than 24 hours after President Goodluck Jonathan had his camping rally in Maiduguri, Borno state capital, protocol officials in the Presidency and some State House Correspondents are trapped in the city.

This came about as the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents yesterday made attempted to overrun Maiduguri.

Jonathan after the rally on Saturday left Maiduguri for Lagos, while the protocol officials and some State House correspondents were billed to leave the city for Abuja yesterday.

According to an impeccable source from the Villa, Jonathan’s convoy is currently taking refuge at the Department of State Security Service (DSS) in Maiduguri.

One of those trapped in Maiduguri told our reporter in a telephone conversation yesterday that “we are hiding at the DSS state command with serious fighting going on between the insurgents and security personnel. Security men are battling to repel the insurgents.”

He said Maiduguri was under the full control of Security personnel and are still combing roads and villages.

“They say they have to comb the bushes to get rid of the insurgents and they said they might not finish Sunday. Meaning that we cannot leave Sunday” he said.

He stressed that the entire convoy of the president was a major target of the insurgents who are bent on attacking the team in order to embarrass the presidency.

“Those trapped are in the president’s team are members of the media crew, medical and security personnel. The Protocol team took risk and left on their own, that was before the terrorists started advancing.

“We wanted to join them but we were warned by the security guys. The Protocol vehicle believes it’s riskier to join convoy because it will attract d attention of the Boko Haram. We are now regretting why we didn’t follow them” the trapped source added.

Contacted again at about 14:54 pm, the trapped source said “Maiduguri just came under some calm now, so we were able to get food in a nearby bus park. We are still in the neighbourhood of the DSS office anyway.

“The security people said they have chased the insurgents out of town. They also attacked Konduga which has now been reclaimed with heavy casualties on the part of Boko Haram,” he said.

 

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