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Buhari booed by Maiduguri crowd as he makes condolence visit

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A large crowd of Borno residents, on Wednesday, booed President Muhammadu Buhari as his convoy drove from the Maiduguri International Airport to the centre of the city, Punch reported.

Buhari, upon returning from a five-day trip to Ethiopia for an African Union summit, paid a condolence visit to the North-Eastern state, following a Boko Haram attack on Sunday.

As his convoy moved to the city at 1:30pm, he was booed by residents, who lined up along the airport road.

At the airport, the President did not shake hands with some traditional rulers, who came to welcome him.

During previous visits to Borno State, Buhari received a warm reception from residents of the state, which is regarded as one of his strongholds.

In the last presidential election, Buhari had his widest margin of victory in Borno State, where he polled 836,496 votes out of 955,205 votes that were cast, which constitutes a margin of over 85 per cent.

His closest rival, Atiku Abubakar, of the Peoples Democratic Party scored 71,788 votes.

On Wednesday, the people, who were dissatisfied with the upsurge in Boko Haram attacks in the state, lined up along the airport road and shouted in Hausa Bama so! Bamayi!, meaning “We don’t want,” “we’re not interested.”

There have been sustained attacks by insurgents on roads leading to Maiduguri in recent times. On Sunday, no fewer than 30 travellers, including children and women, were burnt to death by insurgents, who invaded Auno, 20 kilometres to Maiduguri.

Two weeks ago, two persons were slaughtered by Boko Haram and their frozen fish carted away. The victims slept in a truck because they could not meet the 5pm deadline when the military usually shut the Maiduguri gate.

On January 6, the insurgents attacked Gamboru in the state, with no fewer than 30 persons killed after an improvised explosive device exploded on a bridge.

Also on January 18, one soldier and four Boko Haram terrorists were killed during an attack on an aid facility in the Ngala area of the state, where at least 20 internally displaced persons waiting for assistance at the facility were killed.

Also on January 20, many residents were abducted in two confrontations between the military and Boko Haram insurgents on the Bama-Gwoza highway.

A day later, eight soldiers were reportedly killed during a battle with the Boko Haram insurgents in Kaga, Borno.

The insurgents had disguised and moved in a police vehicle towards a military base, before opening fire on unsuspecting soldiers near their trench.

But Buhari, in an op-ed in a United States-based magazine, Christianity Today, had last week stated that since he assumed office in 2015, the insurgents had been weakened by the armed forces.

The President’s comment came on the heels of criticisms by prominent Nigerians and groups, including the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, who expressed concern about increasing insecurity in the country

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