© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Scared Borno Residents Consider Relocating To Cameroun
Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
Nigerians living in Gamboru Ngala, a town in Borno State that borders Cameroun where over 300 persons were killed by suspected Boko Haram insurgents last week, are threatening to leave the country due to fear resulting from increasing attacks in the area.
Speaking to newsmen on Sunday when a team led by the state governor, Kashim Shettima, paid them condolence visit, the surviving residents lamented that they have been left at the mercy of terrorists, who in recent times have staged attacks with renewed vigour.
One resident, Modu Bulama, accused the federal government and security forces of doing little or nothing to protect the lives and properties of people in the region and that they are left with no other option than to explore measures to secure their lives.
He said although the area had suffered series of attacks and killings in the past, the recent onslaught was the deadliest ever witnessed and is forcing them to contemplate permanent relocation to neighbouring Cameroun.
“We have been patience for a long time even as our people continued suffering serious loses of lives and properties in the past without the federal government and security operatives doing anything to protect us,” he lamented.
A dejected Balama also said he suspects that the attackers conspired with the military, who withdrew from the area shortly before the massacre.
“We felt embarrassed and neglected when troops deployed to the town were suddenly withdrawn and redeployed along Lake Chad axis under the guise of searching for the abducted Chibok schoolgirls. It was very pathetic that we were left at the mercy of policemen attached to the outpost of the area, who gallantly confronted the invaders but were overwhelmed,” he said.
Another resident, Zannah Yerima, said he lost three brothers in the latest attack and plans to leave for Cameroon where he intends to “start all over again”.
He urged the federal government to adopt drastic measures to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency before things get out of hand.
Earlier, Governor Shettima who visited the main market in the town which was razed by the insurgents urged the aggrieved traders to exercise patience and be calm.
He called on them to see the incident as an act of Almighty God and promised to rebuild the market and assist the traders as a way of alleviating their sufferings.
He equally visited various parts of the town to ascertain the level of destruction before proceeding to the Central Mosque to condole members of the various households whose relations were killed in the attack.
Shettima also approved the composition of a seven-man committee saddled with mandate of identifying the victims for possible assistance.
It would be recalled that suspected Boko Haram militants had last Sunday staged a 12-hour deadly attack on the town, leaving over 300 civilians dead and many others injured, while hundreds of houses, shops and vehicles were burnt.