… Death toll still uncertain – residents
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 Boko Haram insurgents.
Though the victims lived in Zabarmari is 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.
“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).
Reports have it that a number of women are some of those still unaccounted for.
Zulum, while addressing the bereaved community, urged them to accept his sympathy.
“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,” he said.
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.
The late farmers were from Sokoto State and had only gone to Borno to source for work on the rice farms.
In his reaction to the latest round of bloodletting, President Muhammadu Buhari called the terrorists “insane” for murdering innocent farmers.