“They arrived our village, Bardari, at about 9 p.m. and ordered us to gather in front of the village mosque for Islamic preaching.”
On Wednesday night, gunmen suspected to be members of the Boko Haram attacked Bardari Village, some 25km southeast of Maiduguri.
The gunmen, dressed in military uniforms, pretended not to want to harm the villagers, but to preach Islam to them.
“They arrived our village, Bardari, at about 9 p.m. and ordered us to gather in front of the village mosque for Islamic preaching,” said Masu Abbari, a local farmer. “We all complied, though they were carrying guns.”
After assuring the villagers of their safety, the unsuspecting farmers and local traders hearkened to the directives of the gunmen.
Rather than preach, the gunmen opened fire on the villagers killing several instantly.
“Suddenly they made signs to one another and then started firing at us.
“They went after most of us that were quick to escape, still shooting and killing them in the bush. Many old men and even women either got killed or were seriously injured”, said Mr. Abbari.
The 45 years old farmer said while he and some others hid at a distance from their attacked village, the gunmen continued to shoot and burn homes.
“Many of us spent the night in the bush; we watched the dark skies alight by the fire used in burning our houses. They did not leave until about midnight. We had to wait till day break before we crept back to our village to see if there are people there whom we can help. But when we got there, I could not stand the sight of corpses that littered the village, some in the bush, some still bleeding.
“I counted over 40 people killed within the village, but those killed in the bush could be more; we tried to bury them all day. But I couldn’t stand the sights of corpses any longer. I had to leave to search for my family whom I understand had fled to Maiduguri. Thank God I was able to find my wife and my four children in one of my relatives home in Maiduguri”, he said.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Borno, Gideon Jubrin, said on Thursday night that the police was yet to get details of the attack.
“We are still in the office waiting for signals and full details of the said incident; as soon as we lay our hands on something we will not hesitate to get across to the press, no matter how late it comes,” Mr. Jubrin said at about 8:00 p.m.
The spokesperson was yet to provide the details on Friday morning.
Such attacks by the Boko Haram have continued across Borno and neigbouring Yobe and Adamawa despite a state of emergency in the three states. Over 2,000 people have been killed in 2014.