No fewer than 43 farmers were murdered when suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked some locals in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State, residents told Daily Trust.
It was gathered that the victims, who were rice farmers, were attacked on their farms in Koshebe area of Zabarmari village, and murdered in cold blood.
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Hundreds of people in Zabarmari, located few kilometres from Maiduguri, the state capital, are famous for cultivating rice and other crops.
One of the local hunters, who participated in a search and rescue operation, said most of the farmers found dead in the rice field had their throats slit.
“We have recovered 43 corpses. The attackers slaughtered all of them,” he said.
“As we speak, there is great disquiet and mourning in our communities,” the hunter said.
The Chairman Rice Farmers Association in Zabarmari, Malam Hassan, who corroborated the sad incident, expressed dismay over the senseless and vicious killing of innocent farmers, including children.
“It is very sad, for us, that these people went to their farms to work, only to be attacked and killed in this manner. So far, we have recovered 43 corpses, including children.”
When contacted, Borno Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Edet Okon, said he has not been briefed on the incident.
“I am not aware but if there is anything, I will get back to you. Honestly, I am not aware.”
An attempt to get the reaction of the member representing Jere Constituency in the House of Representatives, Engr. Ahmad Satomi, proved abortive as he did not pick his calls.
Our correspondent reports that the farmers were killed while harvesting their farm produce. Unlike their colleagues in far flung locations, people in communities near Maiduguri have had the opportunity of cultivating their farms.
There was no immediate statement from the Borno State government at the time of filing this report.
Millions of people, including farmers and fishermen had deserted their homes because of the over 11-year-old Boko Haram insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives.
Governor Babagana Zulum had since September commenced the relocation of IDPs from the state capital and other local government headquarters to their respective ancestral homes.
They were among the over 2.7 million people displaced by the intractable violence.
Until recently, Borno had 32 official IDP camps with an unknown number of unofficial camps hosting a larger number of the IDPs.