Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Ibe kachikwu, says the Nigerian government has suspended crude oil exploration in Borno State and would only resume if it gets sufficient security clearance guaranteeing the safety of its personnel and operations.
Mr. Ibe kachikwu, also stated that the military is still collating data concerning the attack and cannot confirm the actual number of people who died.
ARMY SAID OIL WORKERS WERE RESCUED BUT WE WERE GIVEN DEAD BODIES – UNIMAID SPOKESMAN
“We got the impression our staff on the team were rescued because that was what the military spokesman said yesterday. But we were shocked when we were given four dead bodies. This means it wasn’t a rescue. We still have other staff that are yet to be accounted for.” Maiduguri University spokesman Dani Mamman said. He said that Boko Killed over 40 including soldiers and at least 5 members of the oil exploration team thereby contradicting the Army which said all the team members were freed and 9 soldiers killed. The Unimaid spokesman said more bodies are still coming in and several others are still missing giving rise to fears the death toll may be much higher than 40.
More than 40 people have died during an attempt by the Nigerian Army to free NNPC oil workers who were also used as consultants by the University of Maiduguri. Details of what happened on Tuesday remain unclear, with initial reports from the army suggesting the abducted geologists and surveyors, who worked at the University of Maiduguri, had been rescued.
On Tuesday, the army said the bodies of nine Nigerian soldiers and a civilian had been recovered.
But now the university has said at least five members of staff, including two academics and a driver, were killed when the heavily armed convoy made its way back to Maiduguri, in north-east Nigeria.
Several others remain missing.
Sources said that more than 40 people, most of them soldiers and volunteers from a vigilante group, had been killed in total – although other sources suggest the number killed may rise further still.
“The death toll keeps mounting,” a source said, adding: “More bodies are coming in.”
The high number of casualties will be a blow for the government, which insists the campain is all but defeated.