Federal Govt, Presidency offer excuses, blame farmers for Borno massacre


The Federal Government on Monday gave three different reasons why Boko Haram insurgents succeeded in attacking Kwashebe village in Borno State on Saturday and killing no fewer than 110 rice farmers.

The Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in an interview with the BBC said the rice farmers did not get military clearance before going to their farms, where they were killed by the insurgents.

Also yesterday, the Coordinator of  Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, in an interview with Channels Television, blamed some residents of the North-East for sabotaging the war against insurgents.

In Makurdi, the Benue State capital, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said  Boko Haram remained undefeated  because Nigeria was denied access to adequate weapons to fight  terrorists.

Recall that the Federal Government and top military officials had repeatedly said the insurgents and other criminal groups had been defeated.

In an interview with the BBC in 2016, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhrai (retd.),  said Boko Haram had been technically defeated.

In May last year, the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, said that the Boko Haram terrorist group had been defeated, adding that the military was fighting an international criminal gang known as Islamic State of West Africa Province.

Organisations such as the pan-northern socio-political group, the Arewa Consultative Forum, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, and the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, faulted  government’s explanations and advised it to tackle insurgency.

Despite government’s claim of victory over the insurgents, the terrorists rounded up rice farmers on their farms at Kwashebe, Borno State on Saturday.

Although government said 43 people were killed, the United Nations on Sunday stated 110 farmers lost their lives.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mohammed, in an interview with journalists after paying a courtesy visit to the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, said that  Nigerians would remain at the mercy of terrorists.

The minister described the killing of the rice farmers as ‘unfortunate’ but noted that to decimate the terrorist group, the country needed more support from global partners as well as  acquiring  adequate weapons to fight them.

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