Charles Nwoke, Maiduguri, Nigeria
November 29, 2020
Above image courtesy of local sources. Fair use.
This article has been again updated from a previous casualty count of 70 people.
This article has been updated from a previous casualty count of 43 people.
Gunmen believed to be members of the dreaded and monstrous terrorist group, Boko Haram, swooped on Kwashebe Zamarmari in the Jere Local Government Area of Borno State, killing no fewer than 110 persons working in an agricultural farm on Saturday.
The victims of the attack were on their agricultural farm harvesting rice when the terrorist group suddenly barged into the farm and slaughtered the innocent farmers in their numbers. This is one of the bloodiest attacks this year.
Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, elsewhere on Saturday, pronounced that in no account would the army give room for any part of Nigeria to be occupied by terrorists.
The Defence Headquarters DH in a separate briefing stated that the Air Force had cleared several hideouts of terrorists in Borno State.
The statement revealed that many of them were killed in the process.
The casualties of the latest attack were said to have been tied up by the terrorist group, before slitting their throats.
43 (Forty-three) dead bodies, all slaughtered, had been recovered as at the time of filing this report.
It was learned that the victims were all laborers from Sokoto State.
According to reports, soldiers are tracing the terrorists.
Security analysts believe the insurgents’ constant attacks in the Northern parts of the country are a setback for the country in the efforts to achieve self-sufficiency in food production and economic emancipation.
The cost of food in the country keeps rising due to insecurity in the Northern parts of the country, which is largely the food basket of the nation.
This attack came just after Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto’s outcry on Thursday, over the high spate of insecurity in the North.
The Royal father, while speaking at the fourth quarterly meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) held in Abuja, said the situation was very terrible that people are now scared to travel.
The Sultan said bandits even dare to “go around in the villages, households, and markets with their AK 47 rifles. They stop at the market, buy things, pay and collect change, with their weapons openly displayed”.
He called for an urgent national dialogue to discuss and tackle some of the critical security challenges facing the country.
“We need to sit down in a very serious national dialogue to discuss these issues. We have not run out of patriotic, distinguished Nigerians who can proffer solutions to the problem,” he said.
“What we lack is implementation. We do not like doing the right thing; we always cut corners. That is our problem.”
The Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development (CONEPD) said the Sultan’s statement was a vindication of its position that insecurity in the north was getting worse.
The coalition, in a statement by the National Coordinator of Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development (CONEPD), Engineer Zana Goni, and the National Women Leader, Hajia Mario Bichi, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to heed the advice of most Nigerians by re-jigging the security architecture and appointing young minds who will salvage the situation.
It charged other leaders to speak up against insecurity and other precarious situations bedeviling the country.
The statement read, “We most respectfully commend the Sultan of Sokoto, our father, for stating the true position of things in the north as it concerns insecurity.
“We had said it over and over again that the state of insecurity had reached a point where our farmers can hardly access their farms, even as travelers on busy highways can no longer guarantee their safe arrival without being kidnapped.
“Our mothers, fathers, and children are now at the mercy of terrorists and bandits, who kill, harass and destroy property without being confronted, in many instances, by our security operatives.
“As patriotic elders, we think the position of the Sultan is a Clarion call to our dear President, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, to restructure the security architecture in the country without further delay.
“We applaud our President for ensuring huge budgetary allocation to the military and security sectors, thereby demonstrating his interest in securing lives and property.
“We, however, regret that our security chiefs have not shown commensurate commitment in tackling these security challenges, owing to what we see as lethargy and spent ideas.
“Accordingly, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the service chiefs without further delay, and appoint younger senior officers that will bring fresh perspectives and ideas to bear in addressing the deteriorating security situation in the North in particular, and the country in general.”