Suspected members of the Boko Haram sect launched an attack on the convoy of Kashim Shettima, governor of Borno State, on Tuesday, reportedly killing three persons, including an aide of the governor, identified as Usman Bagidos.
Security sources said the incident happened while the governor and his campaign team were on their way to Gamboru Ngala.
Shettima, a two-term governor, is contesting Saturday’s senatorial election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
A source said the insurgents struck minutes after the governor’s car had passed, adding that most victims of the attack were members of the Civilian Joint Taskforce (CJTF), a local vigilante outfit in the state.
“Many of those who died in the attack were members of the civilian JTF who follow the governor around,” the source said.
He added: “No one expected the terrorists to go after a sitting governor. These Boko Haram people have become so daring.”
Another source said the incident made the governor to cancel his plan to return to Maiduguri, the state capital.
The governor’s media team confirmed the incident, saying six vehicles in the convoy of Shettima were affected.
“Six vehicles in Governor Kashim Shettima’s convoy were on Tuesday evening ambushed by Boko Haram fighters along the road to a border town of Gamboru, headquarters of Ngala Local Government Area of Borno State.
“Three persons died while a soldier sustained injuries,” the statement said.
“Other persons fled and escaped unhurt. The insurgents carted away the six vehicles they attacked.
“The vehicles were the last part of the governor’s convoy on their way to a political rally.
“The governor had passed before the insurgents who took advantage of the dust from desert area to launch attack.
“Information about the attack wasn’t confirmed until late night as those behind were thought to have also joined the rally since the convoy drove into the rally.
“The governor passed the night in Gamboru after the rally. Gamboru was one of the areas occupied by Boko Haram before it was liberated by tough multinational forces from Chad.
“The governor had departed Maiduguri on Tuesday morning, stopped over in Mafa and Dikwa local government areas for campaign rallies.
“On his way back on Wednesday, he stopped in Dikwa to meet with military commands over the attack. He returned to Maiduguri past 7p.m on Wednesday.”