President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Babagana Zulum have condemned the killing of 53 farmers in Borno State. While appreciating efforts of the military, the governor said: “President Muhammadu Buhari should listen to the calls of our people to end the madness of insurgents.
“While we are going back to Maiduguri, by God’s willing, within a few days, we shall re-strategise and ensure the entire areas of Zabarmari/Gongulong are fully secured.”
He stated that civilian JTF and hunters were being recruited to tackle insurgency in all nooks and crannies of the state. Zulum pleaded with the Federal Government to collaborate with Chad, Niger, Cameroun and neighbouring countries to comb hideouts of the terrorists. He listed some of the locations to include Sambisa Forest, Lake Chad region and Mandara hills in Borno and Adamawa states.
The governor, who was speaking at the burial of the planters in Zabarmari community, explained that the deceased were harvesting rice at the weekend on the Zabarmari/Gongulong axis of the state when the insurgents attacked and slit their throats. He added that 66 others are missing.
On end to the onslaughts: Zulum noted: “We shall ensure recruitment of Civilian JTF and hunters so that our people will take the war to the nooks and crannies of the state.
“We can provide them with certain logistics, while we can still appeal to the military, as well as the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), to strengthen support with a view to defeating the terrorists.”
He further said: “We are asking the Federal Government to provide opportunities for youths to be recruited into the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).”
He charged the Buhari administration to look into strengthening the civilian JTF and hunters in the wake of the killings.
HOWEVER, the growers have appealed to the central government to take proactive measures in taming the attacks in the state. In a statement yesterday by Managing Director of Wal-Wanne Group, Dr. Abiso Kabir, the farmers regretted that the unfortunate incident would not only cause instability in the zone, but also lead to poverty.
Explaining that Koila Agro Allied Nigeria Limited was most hit, Kabir urged the Federal Government to recruit more persons into the civilian joint task force in concerted efforts to tame insecurity in the country.
MEANWHILE, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the development, describing the act as “extremely wicked and devilish.” Seeking immediate action in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the main opposition party submitted: “This horrific killing of compatriots comes as yet another of the recurring horrid testament and badge of failure of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration to secure our nation and guarantee safety of life and property in our country.”
BESIDES, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has labelled the Buhari administration as “worst in the nation’s history in terms of securing life and property.”
Reacting to the Borno massacre, its spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, in a statement yesterday, called for an immediate overhaul of Nigeria’s security architecture. He lamented that the north had been abandoned to the mercy of insurgents, bandits and rustlers.
ALSO yesterday, troops of 192 and 202 battalions of Operation Fire Ball (OPFB) reportedly killed a dozen of Boko Haram and Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in the North East state.
They also recovered four AK-47 rifles, ammunition and gun trucks during clearance of remnants of fleeing terrorists from Sambisa Forest.
Making the announcement over the weekend at Army Super Camp 1, Ngamdu axis of the state, Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig.-Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, said following intelligence, the military ambushed the insurgents within the Shyadawe/Nagasino area of Borno.