No fewer than 110 corpses have been buried following bloody attacks on border communities in Borno State last week by Boko Haram. Besides, about 2, 000 residents were displaced with more bodies yet to be evacuated, officials said.
Boko Haram launched coordinated attacks on six communities in Gwoza Local Government Area on the Cameroon border last Tuesday, leaving deaths and tales of woes in their wake. Survivors said Attagara, Aganjara, Angurva, Halaghwa, Agapalawa and Amuda communities located on the hilly side, east of Gwoza, suffered heavy casualties.
Traditional rulers of Attagara, one of the affected communities, Alhaji Lawan Abba Kaka and Chief John Gulla, told reporters in Maiduguri at the weekend that 110 corpses have been buried almost a week after the attacks even as they said more still lay in nearby bushes and mountains.
Also, Sen. Ali Ndume, an indigene of Gwoza, who also represents Borno South, gave details of the burial. “So far, we’ve buried 42 at Attagara, 24 at Aganjara, 20 people in Agapalawa, Amudo one, Chinene 13, Pulka one, Allahaw four, Arboko three and Asgashiga one. From what those who fled told us, there are more corpses in nearby bushes and the mountain side. Many people that fled the communities are also trapped on the hills as they are there without food or water,” he said.
Ndume, who spoke to journalists after the meeting of elders, political and religious leaders as well as stakeholders from the communities in Maiduguri, said the attacks had no religious undertone. “It was Boko Haram and not a religious crisis as reported in some media. These communities are made up of Christians and Muslims, but they’ve been living together for long. They may have their disagreement but the latest attacks were perpetrated by Boko Haram. It is sad because our people were mercilessly murdered and many houses razed,” he stated.
He said hundreds of residents have been displaced even as he lamented that those on the hills were inaccessible because of the volatile nature of the area. “They are there but cannot come down because of fear they might be attacked by the insurgents and it is also difficult for us to take relief especially food to them. It is a very precarious situation but we’ve been talking to the military to provide security for the people there, at least for us to evacuate the remaining corpses littering the area and provide relief to the displaced persons,” he added.
Chairperson of the Committee on Displaced Persons for the affected Communities, who is also the state Commissioner for Commerce, Dr Asabe Villita, urged well-meaning Nigerians, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), charity homes/groups, state governments and other relevant agencies for assistance to the people especially foods, clothing and medication.