Buhari, service chiefs under fire over Zabarmari killings, 43 farmers buried
NEWSMAN, Maiduguri – President Muhammadu Buhari and the nation’s military authorities prosecuting the war against insurgency in northeastern Nigeria have come under intense fire following the brutal killing of over 43 rice farmers by Boko Haram terrorists who the administration had classified as “technically defeated”.
Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum was at Zabarmari on Sunday morning to lead his kinsmen and other residents, still in shock, for the funeral of 43 farmers slaughtered by the Boko Haram insurgents.
Many Nigerians are shocked about the dastardly act and have wondered what soldiers and military authorities were doing that they could not ensure the prompt rescue of the farmers while blaming it on poor intelligence and lackadaisical attitude by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to security matters.
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.
“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).
Zulum addressed the bereaved community.
“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”, Zulum added.
“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 latest killings have further driven the debate on the failure of the Buhari led government to provide security especially in the North despite majority of the service chiefs coming from the area. The President has in recent years played deaf ears to the killings and only last week the revered Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar raised the alarm that the North had become some sort of killing fields.
– PDP says Buhari cocooned in Aso Rock amidst killings spree –
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while condemning in the strongest terms, the gruesome beheading of the 43 innocent farmers by insurgents in Zabarmari, says the “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 the safety of lives and property in our country.”
“The PDP is particularly disturbed because of the failure of the Buhari Presidency to take decisive action despite series of concerns raised by Borno state governor, Baba Gana Zulum, of security compromises in the state”, Spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said in a statement on Sunday.
“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.
“Such attitude by 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 our compatriots.
“It is distressing that despite this sorry situation, Mr. President, who promised to lead from the front, has receded into the safety of Aso 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.
“The PDP charges President Buhari to stop his unhelpful rhetoric. He should sit up and take actions that will safeguard the lives of Nigerians who have been subjected to all manners of mental and physical torture under this incompetent administration.
“Mr. President should immediately move to Zabarmari in Borno state, empathize with the families of the victims and lead from the front in restoring security in the area.”