Gov Shettima briefs Jonathan
UN human rights office condemns attacks
Sadiq Abubakar, Maiduguri, Abdullahi M. Gulloma
Gunmen suspected to be members of Boko Haram on Tuesday night launched another attack on Bama town in Borno state, killing an unspecified number of people.
They also destroyed property worth millions of naira.
The senator representing the Borno Central district, Khalifa Ahmed Zanna, who hails from Bama, yesterday told newsmen that the attack claimed the lives of two of his family members.
“The attack even claimed two of my relations that I know and are close to me, apart from others,” he said.
However, the actual number of casualties was yet to be ascertained as at press time.
The state Commissioner of Police, Tanko Lawan, confirmed to newsmen in Maiduguri on phone that there was indeed an attack “in Bama yesterday or early this morning but we don’t have details on the casualties. But we will get in touch with you whenever it is ready.”
More troops have been deployed to the town to join the battallion already stationed there in order to contain the situation.
The attack came barely seven hours after the state Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, and his entourage had passed through the town on his way back to the state capital Maiduguri from Madagali in Adamawa state where he sympathised with victims of an earlier attack on Izge town.
Military sources in Bama told newsmen that the insurgents were in Bama early in the morning and burnt some shops and houses near the market and the motor park while shooting sporadically.
But when the military and the Civilian JTF went round the town later they did not see any dead body.
Sources told Blueprint that the same insurgents had killed over 100 people in Gulumba, a border village which is the home town of the new chairman of the caretaker committee of Bama local government area.
Yesterday in Abuja, Governor Shettima briefed President Goodluck Jonathan on the latest attack on Bama.
After his meeting with the president, the governor declined to comment on the war of words between him and the president’s Adviser on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, over the capacity of the armed forces to fight Boko Haram.
He told reporters: “I don’t want to comment. He is our president and I am here to update him on the goings-on in Bama and I don’t want to make additional comments.
“He is the president of Nigeria and I need to update him adequately on the goings-on in the state.”
On the latest attack on Bama, Shettima said: “There was an attack on Bama. We are yet to get the actual number of casualties but I was told they have inflicted a lot of damage on the town, otherwise the military men are doing their best.”
Meanwhile, the United Nations human rights office Tuesday strongly condemned Sunday’s attack on several villages in Borno and Adamawa states that led to the death of more than 150 people.
According to reports, about 65 persons were killed in seven villages in Adamawa state, while some 90 others were killed in Izge village, Borno state. Many residents have now fled the area for fear of further attacks by the armed men.
Spokesperson of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Ms Ravina Shamdasani, told a news conference in Geneva: “We condemn in the strongest terms Sunday’s attack by gunmen against eight villages in Adamawa and Borno states.
“We are appalled by the extreme and indiscriminate violence which Nigeria has been witnessing in recent times, including the attacks on two villages on 11 February, which left 39 people dead, 65 injured and reportedly 2,000 homes destroyed.”
OHCHR urged the Nigerian government to do more to provide security and protection to civilians, especially in areas prone to attacks and where a state of emergency has been proclaimed.
“We also call upon the authorities to launch a prompt and thorough investigation, and make sure that perpetrators of these gross human rights violations and killings are duly prosecuted and held responsible,” said Shamdasani.