NEMA says at least 300 persons internally displaced.
It was another day of emotion in the troubled town of Bama when hundreds of women and children who had lost their police or prison official husbands and fathers asked visiting Governor Shettima to show them their bread winners.
Military authorities had Tuesday said 55 persons, amongst which were 13 members of the Boko Haram, four civilians, and the rest security operatives, were killed during a bloody offensive launched against security officials in Bama, a town located about 75km away from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Governor Shettima who couldn’t control his emotion wept uncontrollably at the sight of human and material devastation that could best be described as another enactment of Baga episode, though carried out this time by Boko Haram insurgents.
Emergency aid workers already in Bama said over 300 internally displaced persons have so far been registered in different relief camps.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt from security officials that the Boko Haram superior fire power forced many police officers to flee after running out ammunition.
Briefing Mr. Shettima, the Area Commander of the Nigeria Police Force in charge of Bama Area Command, Sagir Abubakar, said he still could not account for the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Bama, Eko Lawu, who had not been seen since Tuesday.
A group of women whose security agent husbands were killed had dramatically turned down the N5 million cash assistance government offered for all victims. They rather said “all we want is our husbands; where are our husbands.”
One of the saddest cases was three boys whose parent, police corporal Samuel, was killed alongside their mother. Visibly touched by their unfortunate situation, Mr. Shettima announced that he would adopt the orphans: John, Emmanuel, and Saviour.
The governor ordered that the boys and some of the seriously injured police officers be relocated to Maiduguri for proper care.
Some residents of Bama who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES confirmed that the Boko Haram gunmen were actually aided by some of the local Almajiris. The locals pinpointed the houses of the prison warders who were selectively killed.
“It was a bad case for the NPS (prisons) staff; some group of street urchins were said to have led the Boko Haram on a house to housing killing by pointing out all Prisons staff in the state,” the resident, who did not want his name mentioned for security reasons, said.
Authorities said 14 prison officials were killed in the attack.
A security official that spoke to journalists in Bama said “the terrorists came like a full army brigade with different kinds of sophisticated rifles including anti-aircraft guns, we ran out of ammunition while they kept on firing; that was how most of our officers were killed. We became helpless at a point until one of our courageous officers took the personnel armoured car and drove to our 33 mobile base to get us more ammunition.”
Abdulkareem Ibrahim, the Information Officer of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, told journalists that relief items had already been taken to Bama. He said NEMA has so far registered over 300 Internally Displaced Persons.