It was a night of horror for some communities in Damboa Local Government Area, Borno State on Wednesday as Boko Haram insurgents launched deadly attacks on them, killing no fewer than 37 villagers.
Eyewitnesses said that many houses were razed in an operation that looked like the insurgents’ reaction to recent threats by the Federal Government to stamp them out.”
One of the villagers, Mari Suleiman, who escaped the attack, said “the nsurgents were heavily armed and rode in trucks. They attacked six farming communities by shooting at sight any human being or animal they saw.”
Suleiman added that the insurgents also threw petrol bombs at houses and setting them ablaze.”
Mallam Ado Babayo, a civilian JTF, said that some of the villages where houses were burnt included Koshifa, Matangale, Buraltuma, Darmanti, Almeri and Burmari, all in Damboa Local Government Area.
He described the attack as one of the most deadly in recent times, given the scale of destruction.
His words: “What we saw in the villages was really horrifying. Unlike before when they would gather people before they would begin to open fire on them, the terrorists this time around announced their arrival with sporadic gunshots and throwing of what looked like petrol bombs at houses, which led to many homes being burnt down.
“Most of the people who were attacked were older men and youths while many whose homes were razed got injured by fire or bullets.
“Many people are still missing, but we believe that they will still come to Damboa or Biu town so that they can reunite with their families.
“I must say that Boko Haram has almost wiped out the attacked villages.”
Damboa is located 85 kilometres south of Maiduguri.
It is also one of the Borno local government areas that share borders with the dreaded Sambisa forest, which the Boko Haram is still claiming to be in control of in spite of the hyped destruction of the terrorists’ camps there.
Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima. yesterday lamented that former President Goodluck Jonathan neglected the state in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgence because of politics.
Speaking in Maiduguri. the state capital, while receiving relief materials from the men and officers of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) to internally displaced persons in the state, the Deputy Governor, Zanna Mustapha, who represented him, said for four years, the Federal Government’s only intervention in the state was a sum of N200 million.
According to him, the state lost 22 local government areas to insurgency, but the Federal Government assisted Adamawa State which lost only six local government areas with N4 billion.
He said that Borno State was resolute and never cried to the Jonathan administration for assistance, but rather prayed and campaigned for a change, which God granted with a change of government.
His words: “I must say here that the Federal Government, led by former President Jonathan, did not pay attention to the people of Borno at all.
“For the four years we have been battling with the incident, the only thing the Federal Government gave us was N200 million.
“Then Jonathan and his Federal Government were playing politics with the incident of Boko Haram in Borno. We lost 22 local government areas to the incident of Boko Haram whereas Adamawa lost five, six local governments and was given N4 billion. They used that for politics.
“We were resolute, knowing that the government of Jonathan was coming to an end.
“We did not beg him, we never sent any emissary to him for assistance to be given to Borno. God willing, we campaigned for change and we had change.”
Deputy Comptroller-General of NCS, Tahir Musa, presented some relief materials such as food items, clothes, mats, utensils and others to the state.
He explained that the items were donated by men and officers of the NCS to internally displaced persons in the state, stressing that they were not from the Nigerian Customs Service.
“These contributions also came from our wives through the wife of the Customs General, Hajiya Sadiya Abdullahi Dikko,” he said.
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