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Insecurity: 43 feared killed, six others injured in fresh Boko Haram attack

insecurity: 43-feared-killed,-six-others-injured in-fresh-boko-haram-attack

By AbdulGafar Alabelewe, Kaduna 

Suspected members of the terror sect, Boko Haram, on Saturday swooped on Kwashebe Zamarmari in the Jere Local Government Area of Borno State, killing at least 43 people working in a farm.

The victims were harvesting rice when the terrorists unexpectedly pounced in the latest episode of insecurity across the country.

Elsewhere on Saturday, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, declared that under no circumstance would the army allow the occupation of any part of Nigeria by terrorists.

The Defence Headquarters said separately that the Air Force had knocked out more hideouts of terrorists in Borno State.

It said many of them were killed in the process.

The terrorists were said to have tied up the victims of the latest attack before slitting their throats.

Forty-three bodies, all slaughtered, had been recovered at press time.

The victims were described as labourers from Sokoto State.

It was gathered that soldiers were on the trail of the terrorists.

The attack is being interpreted as another setback for the country in the efforts to achieve self- sufficiency in food production.

Food prices keep rising in the country largely on the strength of the insecurity in food-producing areas.

The attack came on the heels of Thursday’s outcry by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji  Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar about the mounting security challenge in the north.

The Sultan, speaking at the fourth quarterly meeting of the Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC) held in Abuja, said the situation was so bad that that people are now scared to travel.

He said bandits even have the audacity 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 some of the critical challenges facing the nation.

“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.

It said: “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 travellers 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.”

No chance for terrorists to occupy any part of Nigeria — Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, declared on Saturday that under no circumstance would the army allow the occupation of any part of Nigeria by terrorists.

Speaking at the 62nd passing out parade of the Nigerian Military School, Buratai  pledged adequate security for Nigerians as they go about their businesses.

He also spoke of the commitment of the army to Nigeria’s continued unity.

“I assure all Nigerians that the Nigerian Amy is committed to the unity and indivisibility of this country and would do everything humanly possible to ensure that no part of this country is occupied by criminal elements,” he said through the Army’s Chief of Administration, Major General U.S.  Yakubu.

Continuing, he said: “The Army, as you all know, has been involved in various operations and exercises in support of civil authority.

“To mention particularly is the maintenance of internal security in addition to its constitutional role of protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria.

“The observed insecurity in the country has much to do with the level of training our children are exposed to from the beginning.

“Having more institutions that would inculcate high level of discipline, knowledge and patriotism, just like NMS, is what we require to achieve.

“On our part, we will strive to ensure that all training schools in the NA are provided with the required facilities to ensure excellence, proficiency and professionalism.

“We have also taken deliberate steps to ensure that the quality of medical services to our personnel and their families is in line with international best practices.”

He congratulated the 294 young soldiers and assured them of the support of the army “as long as you remain disciplined and dedicated to all assigned duties.”

He advised them to maintain the high level of discipline the NMS has always been known for.

Military air strikes knock out more terrorists’ hideouts in Borno     

However, the Air Task Force of Operation Lafiya Dole said on Saturday it had knocked out more hideouts of the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists, killing scores in Borno State.

Chief spokesman of Defence Headquarters Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, said in Abuja that the air raids were conducted on Friday at Ngwuri Gana, along the Gulumba Gana-Kumshe axis and Tumbuma Baba on the fringes of Lake Chad, both in the Northern part of Borno.

He said the air strikes were conducted under a new subsidiary Operation tagged “Wutar Tabki II”.

According to him, series of aerial surveillance missions had indicated that the two locations were being used as staging areas where ISWAP leaders and their fighters meet to plan and launch attacks.

He said the attacks were coordinated using an enhanced force package of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) fighter jets and helicopter gunships.

According to him, the air attacks resulted in the destruction of some of the terrorists’ structures as well as the neutralisation of several ISWAP fighters.

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