Death toll of victims now 35 in Borno
GUNMEN suspected to be members of the Boko Haram group have killed a teenager in Jigawa State and two ward heads in Borno and Yobe states.
But the police have re-assured that they would not shirk their mandate to protect life and property and urged residents in all geographical zones of the country to remain peaceful and go about their lawful businesses without fear of intimidation.
The assurance is coming against the backdrop of the threat from the Boko Haram sect against Christians and Southerners resident in the Northern part of the country, as well as Muslims and other Northerners resident in the Southern part of the country.
A statement by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Oluyemi Ajayi, a Chief Superintendent of Police, yesterday in Abuja said: “The Force owe the citizens the responsibility to protect life and property; and this, it will dutifully accomplish within the dictates of the law.”
The suspected Boko Haram gunmen in their dozens killed the teenager when they attacked a police station in Birniwa Local Council in Jigawa State. The teenage girl, identified as Fidausu, was said to have died in the incident.
The gunmen numbering 25, injured a police officer during the invasion.
Witnesses said the hoodlums made straight for the police station when they arrived in the area shooting sporadically at the police officers on duty. They allegedly planted a bomb in the station.
The teenager, who was allegedly scampering for safety with residents of the area was hit by a bullet during the gun battle between the police and the hoodlums.
Malam Abdullahi, a resident of Birniwa, said “we were saying our Magrib prayers when we suddenly heard gunshots from the direction of the police station. At first we thought it was the police that were on routine training until we saw one of the officers running towards us shouting, ‘it is them, it is them (Boko Haram).’
“After our prayers, we rushed to the scene and met a young girl lying in the pool of her blood apparently shot from behind with her bowels burst as she attempted to take cover.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Hashimu Salihu Argungu, confirmed the incident to The Guardian. He said a teenager was killed and a police officer was injured on his leg from gunshot.
The police commissioner also confirmed that the gunmen placed a bomb in the station, which was later detonated by the bomb squad.
Birniwa Local Council shares border with Yobe State.
The police authorities said yesterday that two heads in Shehuri and Pompomari wards of Borno and Yobe States in the Northeast sub-region country were shot dead at their residences by suspected Boko Haram gunmen at about 7.00 p.m.
No arrests have been made in the attacks, as the suspects fled with their guns towards Hadejah and Nguru, border communities with Niger Republic in the Northeast.
Confirming the killing of the two ward heads, the Borno and Yobe states Commissioners of Police, Simeon Midenda and Tanko Lawan, told The Guardian yesterday on phone that they received the reports of killings yesterday morning, despite the imposition of state of emergency in Maiduguri metropolitan and Damaturu council areas of Borno and Yobe states by President Goodluck Jonathan last Sunday.
Midenda said: “In the report on assassination of the Shehuri ward head, two suspected Boko Haram gunmen came in an unmarked vehicle with Kalashnikov rifles hid under their flowing gowns and shot at the ward head in the chest and head and died on the spot before his wife and children at 7.00 p.m. yesterday (Tuesday).”
Besides, a total of 35 people were killed while 47 houses destroyed during the July and August, 2011 Boko Haram attacks in Maiduguri metropolis of Borno State. Also, 498 persons were affected, as they demanded compensations from the state government, Chairman of the Administrative Committee of Inquiry (ADCI), Malam Fannami, has disclosed.
Fannami said this yesterday at the Government House, Maiduguri, while submitting the Boko Haram administrative committee report to Governor Kashim Shettima on the serial killings and bombings in July and August last year.
He said out of affected wards and communities, 498 victims were affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, as each of the interviewed victims demanded either financial or material compensations or both from the Borno State government.
The compensations, according to the chairman of the committee, would enable the affected victims settle down and overcome the trauma and humiliation sustained during the two-month insurgency in their respective wards and communities.
The report reads in part: “During the two-month unrest, two persons were missing, one detained, while 162 shops and business premises were
set ablaze from the various bombings in Budum, Abagaram, Zannari, Bulunkutu, Gomari, Zajiri and London Chiki wards of Maiduguri metropolis.”
The chairman further disclosed that the Boko Haram attacks had led to the destruction of 123 vehicles, 70 motorcycles and 24 bicycles.