*Over 110 lost their lives in Bornu rice farmers attack-UN
*Northern elders, politicians accused of compromising zones security
By Myke Uzendu, (Abuja) and Melvin Uche, Maiduguri
As the Borno State governor Prof. Babagana Zulum, overseas the burial of 43 helpless farmers in Zabarmari, Borno state, who were slaughtered at the weekend by the Boko Haram terrorists, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has lamented that the security architecture in the country has irretrievably collapsed under President Muhamadu Buhari.
This is as the United Nations has declared that over 110 farmers, not 43 were actually killed by Boko Haram during the attack in Zabarmari.
The PDP pointed out that the Buhari Administration appears helpless while the national security structure appears to be on auto pilot with no one in charge while the ship of state continues to drift.
The Party in a statement on Sunday by it’s Spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan said that it is disturbed because of the failure of the Buhari Presidency to take decisive action despite series of concerns raised by Borno state governor, Babagana Zulum of security compromises in the state
This is even as former Vice president, Atiku Abubakar, in a tweet via his verified Twitter handle, @atiku called for a rejig of the nation’s security architecture.
Atiku described the killing as heartbreaking, saying that words failed him as the security chiefs have failed to provide security for the helpless workers.
“Heartbreaking. Words fail me. The lives of our citizens should be worth much more than this.
According to him, “The rejig of the nation’s security architecture is long overdue. May their souls rest in peace and may their families be comforted,” he tweeted.
The PDP described the act as extremely wicked, devilish which must not be left unaddressed.
“Indeed, our party is distressed by the escalated killing and maiming of innocent Nigerians by insurgents, bandits and marauders, who have continued to ravage and pillage our communities, while the lazy and lethargic Buhari administration continues with its lip service, rhetoric and false performance claims.
“The Buhari administration appears helpless while our national security structure under President Buhari seems to have collapsed. Our nation appears to be on auto pilot with no one in charge while the ship of state continues to drift.
“All our nation gets from the Buhari Presidency is that ‘Mr. President is shocked’, ‘Mr. President is saddened’, ‘Mr. President regrets’ and such lame responses without any decisive policy direction or directive to definitively tackle the situation at hand, leading to escalation of killings in our country”.
The party said that the lacklustre attitude of the Buhari administration has continued to embolden insurgents to the extent that they now attack military formations, convoys of state governors and engage in wanton beheading of helpless citizens.
The party expressed disappointment that Mr. President, who promised to lead from the front, has receded into the safety of Aso Rock Presidential villa and refused to act on the consistent demands of Nigerians to rejig the national security architecture and replace the service chiefs with more capable hands to affectively tackle our security challenges.
Zulum Gov leads horrified kinsmen to bury 43 farmers killed by Boko Haram
Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum was at Zabarmari early morning on Sunday, to lead kinsmen and other residents, still in shock, for the funeral of 43 farmers slaughtered by the Boko Haram insurgents.
Though the victims lived in Zabarmari, a farming community in Jere local government area, famous for rice cultivation and local processing, they were attacked on Saturday, at Koshebe village, a place in Mafa Local Government Area.
Zulum, during his visit was told that death toll was yet to be fully ascertained and this may have accounted for the 110 casualties the UN released Sunday evening.
“Your Excellency, as you have seen here, 43 corpses were buried, but others have not been retrieved from the scene of the incident. Nobody can tell you the exact number of people killed. Some of the victims are still missing” a resident (name concealed), told the governor.
Governor Zulum while addressing the bereaved community said:” First of all, accept my deepest sympathy over this carnage, once again, that affects all of us and every human with conscience. I am told some persons are still missing. We have been discussing with the military since yesterday, Insha Allah the remaining people will be traced soon.”
The Governor while speaking to journalists said: It is disheartening that more than 40 citizens were slaughtered while they were working in their farmlands. Our people are in very difficult situations, they are in two different extreme conditions, in one side they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents.
“This is very sad. We are still appealing to the Federal Government to ensure recruitment of more our youths in the CJTF and hunters into the Nigerian military and the Civil Defence so that they can form part of the agro rangers that will protect farmers.
“We need many boots to protect farmlands and our youths understand the terrain. We will not lose hope because we have to remain optimistic about ending the insurgency,” Zulum said.
Over 110 rice farmers killed in attack, says UN
The United Nations (UN) Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr .Edward Kallon has condemned the brutal killing of civilians in their farmlands by the Boko Haram terrorists.
A statement issued on Sunday in Maiduguri by Eve Sabbagh, Head of Public Information, OCHA Nigeria, which quoted Kallon, said at least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others wounded.
Kallon said:” I am outraged and horrified by the gruesome attack against civilians carried out by non-state armed groups in villages near Borno State capital Maiduguri.
“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack. In early afternoon of 28 November, armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields in Koshobe and other rural communities in Jere Local Government Area.
“Reports we are receiving are indicating these innocent farmers were the victims of this callous violence. I extend my sincere condolences to the families of the civilians who lost their lives in this atrocious attack.
“I also wish a speedy recovery to those who were wounded in the incident. We have also received reports that several women may have been kidnapped. I call for their immediate release and return to safety.”
Kallon said his thoughts are also with the rural communities in the area, who are shocked by the brutality of yesterday’s attack and fear for their safety, adding that the entire UN system and the humanitarian community working to provide life-saving and development assistance to the most vulnerable in Borno State is outraged by the incident, noting that such direct attacks against innocent civilians jeopardize the ability for the most vulnerable people to survive the adversity there are facing, and which the humanitarian community are striving to alleviate.
“Rural communities in Borno State are facing untold hardships. Helping them to farm land and rebuild livelihoods are amongst our priorities and the only way to avoid the looming food crisis in Borno State.
“They and all other civilians need to be protected and spared from any kind of violence. Innocent women, children and men desperately need food and other support and assistance, particularly at a time when we are recording some of the highest levels of food insecurity in Borno State. We owe to do our utmost to help them survive these difficult times,” the statement further reads.
…Some Northern elders have compromised, Ganduje’s aide alleges
Meanwhile, Salihu Tanko Yakasai, the Special Assistant on Media, to Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje has blamed Arewa (Northern) elders for not speaking out and taking proactive action against the high level of insecurity in the North.
Reacting to the incessant killings in the North, the governor’s aide lamented the non-cooperation of some Northerners, who he said failed to speak up against killings and kidnappings in the north.
Taking to his tweeter handle @dawisu, he wrote: “Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Ilaihirrajiun! 43 innocent souls lost for no reason, 43 families thrown into more darkness, 43 less farmers that will feed the nation, 43 new victims that have died in vain. 43 blood in the hands of those that are supposed to protect them.
“I blame arewa for tolerating this level of insecurity. By the time each and every household, in each and every state is engulfed in it, perhaps then we will wake up and defend ourselves against this barbaric attacks & kidnappings. Clearly, no end in sight. #ZabarmariMassacre
“To even speak with one voice on the insecurity in the North is a challenge. We are not ready yet. #SecureNorth.”
Yesufu blames Buhari over spate of killings
Co-convener of BringBackOurGirls (BBOG), advocacy group, Aisha Yesufu has lamented the recent killing of over 43 farmers by members of the dreaded Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
The activist totally blamed President Muhammadu Buhari for the spate of insecurity in the North.
According to Yesufu, Northerners gave Buhari everything including votes and love but the President in exchange gave the region nothing but death and destruction.
In a tweet on Sunday, Yesufu said, “Northern people gave Buhari everything and Buhari gave them nothing!
“Northern people gave Buhari votes and Buhari gave them destruction, Northern people gave Buhari love and Buhari gave them tears.
“Northern people gave Buhari support and Buhari gave them death #ZabarmariMassacre