Nigerian senator says military bombs his convoy

2014-01-13 07:38

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Maiduguri - A Nigerian military fighter jet bombed the cavalcade of a prominent federal senator as he drove to the scene of an attack by suspected Islamic extremists in the country's northeast, the senator said Sunday. No one was hurt.

Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume said Saturday's bombing underscored "the seriousness of how the military endangers innocent civilians." Thousands of security forces have been deployed to northeast Nigeria under a state of emergency covering one-sixth of Africa's biggest old producer to crack down on a 4-year-old Islamic uprising.

Ndume said soldiers told him the bombing of his six-vehicle convoy — led by an army vehicle with a police van in the rear — was "an operational blunder."

Military spokesman Col. Muhammed Dole said he knew nothing of the senator's convoy being bombed, but confirmed a military operation with air support was going on around Ardoko village, 185km from Maiduguri, capital of Borno state.

Ndume was traveling to Ardoko to commiserate with constituents attacked Saturday by extremists, who killed eight civilians.

He said four bombs exploded around his convoy as he drove through the nearby village of Pulka, just 500 meters (a third of a mile) and in sight of a military checkpoint. He said villagers including children who had come out to wave at him scattered as the bombs went off and the convoy skidded off the road.

Ndume thought he was being attacked by extremists from the Boko Haram terrorist network.

Lack of evidence

"I heard a massive explosion and some other ones followed," he told a news conference in Maiduguri. "I thought it was Boko Haram that were attacking us; we even thought it was some people waving at us from the road side that detonated the bombs."

But when they returned to the military post for protection, soldiers told him the bombs came from a Nigerian Air Force plane.

"Even if it was an operational hitch, as they claimed, how could an air force pilot fire four bombs at a moving convoy being escorted by soldiers and police on a federal highway without bothering to check with the ground forces?" Ndume asked.

Soldiers at the checkpoint tried to communicate with the pilot after the bombing, but failed, he said.

Ndume was arrested in 2012 on allegations from a captured suspected Islamic militant that he was financing terrorist operations. He was subsequently released, apparently for lack of evidence.

Rumors have long circulated in Nigeria that Boko Haram has received backing from political sponsors in Nigeria, a country where politicians often arm militants to rig elections and otherwise support political aspirations. President Goodluck Jonathan himself has said that the sect has infiltrated all levels of government, including the armed forces and security agencies.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    boko haram  |  goodluck jonathan  |  nigeria  |  west africa publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks set to turn new Paige at No 9
Probe into England RWC exit on the rocks
VIDEO: 'Heyneke plans to put USA game to bed early on'
Boks could get posh England base
Traffic Alerts

Relationships and significant connections may play an important role in your day today. Let the warmth of the Leo moon inspire more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.