By Abakaliki, Samson Nwafor
Hundreds of Gwoza residents, Borno State who fled Boko Haram attacks on their community have said they are dying of hunger.
The fleeing victims who are hiding in caves and nearby mountains cried out that they had no food to eat.
A farmer from the town of Gwoza, Liman Ngosha told Agence French Presses, AFP, that: “We are in distress. We need help. We have been starving for the past four days. We are surviving now on wild fruits from the Mandara Mountain.”
Last Wednesday, suspected Boko Haram gunmen attacked Gwoza, some 135km from Maiduguri, the state capital and killed dozens, while others fled to the mountain near the Camerounian border.
Survivors said there were no soldiers to defend the town when the gunmen attacked them before dawn.
“I cannot tell the exact number of people that were killed. Before I fled, over 100 corpses littered the streets of Gwoza,” Ngosha confirmed.
The palace of the town’s emir, the police headquarters and scores of other buildings were destroyed, residents said.
Another victim, James Mshelia, also told AFP that: “Dozens of our people have been killed by the attackers. Some were slaughtered and many others shot with guns.”
“There is no military presence in Gwoza now,” said Halima Jatau, one of the fleeing residents.
The attack on Gwoza came a few weeks after the insurgents took over Damboa, another town in the volatile state that is repeatedly attacked by the Islamist group.
Many Gworza residents who escaped the attack, including some who fled to the mountain, met in Maiduguri on Saturday with Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima, who promised to discuss their plight with President Goodluck Jonathan.
“I share your pain and I know the difficulty that you are going through. I want to assure you that I will relay what is happening to the President and I will seek his support in the deployment of more soldiers to Gwoza,” he said.