The prospects of oil exploration in the Lake Chad Basin of Nigeria in Borno state has suffered a major setback as Boko Haram have on Wednesday reportedly ambushed and attack a team of workers between Magumeri and Gubio on their way back to Maiduguri, security sources have revealed.
The source informed that the workers were ambushed around Borno Yeso area of Magumeri, adding that “security personal providing protection and security to the workers including geologists from the University of Maiduguri were also badly affected in the ambushed.
Another source speculated that out of the ten vehicles that conveyed the oil workers including security, only one ten seater bus returned to Maiduguri with five wounded people hospitalized at the State Specialist Hospital Maiduguri.
The source added that many have been feared dead or taken alive as no contact has so far been made by some of the members of the team during the attack
There is no official statement from the military command in Borno State and the State Police Command on the attack.
A credible military source also informed our correspondent that some students of the Geology Department of the University, members of the Civilian Joint Task Force and other security personnel were victims of the attack
The Military source regretted that a conspiracy by head of the securities in trying to shield the information from the public.
His words: “As at 9:00 today Wednesday, no rescue plan has been put in place as far as I am aware from either the Nigeria Airforce component from the Theatre.
“Between Wednesday and today, only ten of the victims can be confirmed to be alive. The five oil workers that escaped the attack Wednesday were hospitalized at the Borno State Specialist Hospital
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“Also this morning around 5:00 precisely five others who escaped also called and told us their location.
“The five victims at the state specialist told us that out of the ten vehicles conveying the team from magumeri, only their vehicle escaped the attack with bullets shots, flat tyres and smashed wind screen.
“They said the insurgents had chased them for more than ten kilometers adding that most of the vehicle and the persons involved did not make it out of Magumeri,” the source disclosed.
The Nation recalls that President Buhari last year issued directives to the NNPC to resume the exploration of oil in the Lake Chad Basin and River Kolnami.
In compliance with the Presidential Directives, the GMD of NNPC sent a delegation to Borno State in May this year who paid courtesies on Gov. Kashim Shettima and the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar El-Kanemi with the assurance that the exploration will begin in six weeks’ time as peace was gradually returning to the state.
The latest attack has however cast a dark shadow on the prospect of the continuation of the exploration with renewed Boko Haram attacks and the increasing insecurity in the Lake Chad.