The bereaved and traumatised people of Zavarnari community are still in pains as the killing of over 70 members of their communities is still fresh in their mind and also worried about their inability to access their farmlands due to the menace and threat of Boko Haram insurgency. Speaking in an interview with our correspondent in Maiduguri, the immediate past Chairman of Rice Farmers, Processing and Marketers Association, Hassan Usman said: “we are still touched and saddened by the loss of our people.
Many of our people cannot sleep in the night because of horrible experience of seeing many corpses.” “We are also worried for not been able to go out to our farms; we have not been able to harvest 1/3 of our rice despite the envisaged bumper harvest we had this year.
We therefore call on the Federal Government and the military in particular to provide us with security so that we can harvest our farm produce. Even today, some of our people went out but they saw some insurgents on motorcycle and ran back home.”
Usman added: “I appeal to the Federal Governments to station military personnel in strategic places in the bushes permanently until we are able to finish harvesting. The military should give us cover to harvest our rice. We expect bumper harvest this year, because some of our farmers secured loans from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through Anchor Borrowers Loan which has greatly improved our farming but unfortunately if something is not done on time, the insurgents will burn our farms.
We appeal to the government to come to our aid.” “We are in a dilemma between going out to the farm to be killed or staying at home and die of hunger since we cannot bring home our farm produce and we don’t have food to eat at home.
We pray that God will come to our mercy.” Also speaking, a resident of Zabarmari who lost his younger brother, Ibrahim Garba said “We are saddened by what has happened to us, but as Muslims we take solace in God, our creator.
However, whenever I enter my late brother’s houses and see his three little children I cannot hold back my tears. Our farm produce are still in the bush and if something is not done quickly we will die of hunger.
We learnt that the insurgents are setting ablaze our rice farms.” “The most unfortunate thing is that people have turned Maiduguri to Mecca, as governors troop to the Government House and Shehu’s place too condole with Governor Babagan Zulum and the Shehu but none of them think of the bereaved who lost their loved ones. It is unfortunate they spend government resources to come here and none of them think of us.
“Our appeal to the government is to provide us with adequate security so that we can harvest our rice from the bush before the insurgents completely destroy them.”. A volunteer vigilante from the area who does not want his name in print said they were able to go to the bush on Wednesday to bury the decomposed corpses of their people that were left in the bush due to inaccessibility.
“Nobody dares go to the farms due to the presence of the insurgents in the bush; even those that tried to go to the farm on Wednesday were pursued by the insurgents that are still in the bush. As I’m speaking to you I have taken drugs to sleep, because I was horrified by the incident, and whenever I close my eyes I see the corpses in front of me especially the body of my friend, Idi,” he said in tears. “Whenever government officials visit our communities we appeal for more security to enable us to bring home our rice.
However, as I’m speaking to you, our produce is still in the bush because there has been no security deployment. “The location of the insurgents is not unknown but I don’t know why our military refuses to take the fight to their enclave. Koshefe the place where the incident happened is just a few kilometers away from Zabarmarri and it is a known fact that it is the hideout of insurgents since 2016 but nothing has been done until.
It’s only when something happens that you hear condemnations and lamentations with no action.” A public commentator, Comrade Abubahar Sanda, said: “The long insurgency refuses to end because the military and some NGOs as well as some individuals have turned it into ATM. Federal Government should wake up from its slumber and bring this agelong insurgency to an end. He said: “The Service Chiefs need to be replaced because they have run out of ideas.
We need new people to inject their ideas and find ways of restoring lasting peace in the country. I share the same view the Northern Elders Forum that if President Muhammadu Buhari cannot rise to occasion, he should resign because the primary essence of government is to provide security to the people.”
However, families of the victims received N600,000 each and bags of food items from a committee assigned by Governor Babagana Umara Zulum to transparently convey donations to the victims. The funds came from combined support of N20m by the Northern Governors Forum, and N5m by the North East Development Commission, NEDC.
A committee, chaired by Borno’s commissioner for youths and sports, Saina Buba undertook Thursday’s distribution in Zabarmari. The committee included a member of House of Representatives, representing Jere federal constituency, member of Borno House Assembly representing Jere, two Special Advisers and chairman-elect, for Jere Local Government.