• Buhari Expresses Grief Over the Killings – Garba Shehu
  • We Need More Military Action, Says Gbajabiamiala
  • Nigerians Renew Calls For Sacking of Service Chiefs

By Ziyaratu Ibraheem with Sahara, Punch Reports
Tears flowed freely on Sunday as Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, watched over 43 corpses, who were among those killed by suspected Boko Haram insurgents, prepared for burial.
The deceased were farmers killed at a rice plantation in Kwashabe village, about 20 kilometres north of Maiduguri, Borno capital.
he insurgents were also said to have destroyed the rice plantation after slaughtering all the farmers.
Residents told Zulum during his visit that the death toll has 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).
Speaking to the villagers, the governor said, “First of all, accept my deepest sympathy over this carnage, once again, that affects all of us and every human with a 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.
“It is disheartening that more than 40 citizens were slaughtered while they were working in their farmlands. Our people are in challenging situations.
They are in two different extreme conditions; while they stay at home, they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, when they go out to their farmlands, they 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 more 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.”
Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) have increasingly targeted farmers in their violence.
They accused them of spying and passing information to the military and the local militia fighting them.
On his own side, President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the killing of farmers by Boko Haram. He added that the Federal Government has given the armed forces the support to tackle insecurity in the country.
This was disclosed in a social media statement by Presidential media aide, Garba Shehu saying.
“President @MBuhari has expressed grief over the killing of farmers on rice fields at Zabarmari, in Jere Local Government of Borno State, describing the terrorist killings as insane.”
He further added that “I condemn the killing of our hardworking farmers by terrorists in Borno State. The entire country is hurt by these senseless killings. My thoughts are with their families in this time of grief. May their souls Rest In Peace.”
President Buhari said the government had given all the needed support to the armed forces “to take all necessary steps to protect the country’s population and its territory.”
Salihu Yakasai, Special Adviser on Media to the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, said it was shameful that nobody has been sacked a day after the tragedy.
The Kano governor’s aide, who tweeted @dawisu, wrote, “If this doesn’t move you to tears, I don’t know what will. 43 souls woke up and went to earn a living, only to be slaughtered like rams. 24 hours later, nobody has been sacked, no major action taken, and in another 24 hours, the outcry will end and we will move on.”
TV host, Morayo Afolabi-Brown, wrote, “If Buhari does not sack the service chiefs over the brutal killing of these farmers, then our lawmakers need to start talking about impeachment.”
Social commentator, Gimba Kakanda, also knocked the President for not addressing the nation on the tragedy.
“The first thing Buhari ought to have done today was appearing on TV, bearing the pain of the people he had failed, to announce the sack of his overstaying service chiefs,” Kakanda stated, adding that “even our military Heads of State didn’t take the country for granted as Buhari has.”
Another user, @SodiqTade, also commented, “Anything outside sacking the service chiefs is not a positive action to me. Buhari should sack these men and not having meetings with them. The meetings have never and will never be productive.”
@josanyaolu kicked against the deradicalisation of former terrorists by the Federal Government. “It is clear that the service chiefs lack the know-how to tackle insurgency in the north, we need big bold ideas, no amnesty for terrorist,” he wrote.
On his part, popular comedian and #EndSARS campaigner, Debo Adebayo also known as Mr Macaroni, tweeted, “We are either being killed by terrorists or by security operatives. Either ways, the country isn’t safe. Where is the government when you need them? Oh I forgot! They are busy oppressing Nigerian youths.”
The Senate had in the past asked the service chiefs to step down following the worsening killings of civilians and soldiers in parts of northern Nigeria.
But the Presidency had disagreed, saying it is the prerogative of the President to appoint and sack the service chiefs.
Some of current service chiefs include the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar; and Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
The Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, at the burial of the rice farmers today, described the carnage as a very sad one while expressing his sympathies to the families of the victims.
He also asked the Federal Government to “ensure recruitment of more our youths in the Civilian Joint Task Force and hunters into the Nigerian military as well as 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 added.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has condemned in the strongest terms, the killing of “about 50” rice farmers.
Gbajabiamila said the incident had once again brought to the fore the need for more military action against the terrorists.
This is contained in a statement issued on Sunday by the Special Adviser to the Speaker on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, titled, ‘Gbajabiamila condemns killing of Borno rice farmers, calls for more military action against insurgents.’
The Speaker said it was unfortunate that “about 50 of the farmers were killed in a most gruesome manner” at a time the country was focusing on self-sufficiency in rice production.
Gbajabiamila commiserated with the families of the killed farmers as well as the people and Government of Borno State over the sad incident.
The Speaker said the House is determined and ready to provide all necessary support, including the ongoing budgeting process to ensure that funds are allocated for the security agencies to carry out their mandate of wiping out the terrorists.
He said, “It is unfortunate that about 50 of our countrymen lost their lives to the barbaric and inhuman action of the insurgents at this time. This incident is one too many for us as a country. Here were innocent citizens going about their lives of looking for their daily bread to cater for their families; but were murdered in a most gruesome manner.
“Their lives should not go in vain. This should call for more action from our military. As a House, we are ever ready to give them all the necessary support, especially through budgetary allocation, to deal decisively with the insurgents. My heart goes out to the families of the murdered farmers.”
Boko Haram had on Saturday killed the rice farmers in the village near Maiduguri, a farming community in Jere Local Government Area, famous for rice cultivation and local processing.

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