President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock over Tuesday’s mass killing by Boko Haram in a Borno village which resulted in the death of 81 residents.
On Tuesday, the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWAP), a breakaway faction of Boko Haram, launched one of its deadliest attacks in recent times on the residents of a village in Gubio local government.
The attack came days after the country’s Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, met with President Buhari in Abuja and briefed him on the ‘successes’ the army have made against insurgents in the last few months.
Reacting to Tuesday’s incident, President Buhari said in a statement released by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Wednesday, that “he is deeply shocked by the brutal killing of tens of people by the Boko Haram/Islam in West Africa Province (ISWAP) in Gubio village, Borno State.”
The president, who said he was expecting a detailed briefing by the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, said he was particularly shocked by the “primordial nature of the killings” because it happened “not long after the Ramadhan and Eid, and the country is preparing to celebrate the Democracy Day.”
Condemning the incident, Mr Buhari charged the armed forces “to sustain their recent string of successes against the terrorists to extract a heavy price from the attackers, and bring back all those they kidnapped as well as a large number of cattle rustled.”
Mr Shehu said the president “expressed the sincere condolences of the government and people of Nigeria to the bereaved families, communities and the government and people of Borno State.”
The president, according to the statement, awaits the outcome of the Borno governor’s visit to the affected communities.
Governor Zulum had earlier on Wednesday visited Gubio village to empathise with the people over the sad incident.
The villagers informed the governor that 81 persons were killed during the attack, while others, including a village head, were abducted by the insurgents.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian military in a separate statement also confirmed the development even as it said the victims were mostly women and children.
Acting Director, Nigeria Army Public Relations, Sagir Musa, said in a statement that “the Army is deeply saddened by the unfortunate incident.”
Mr Musa, a colonel, said the attack was carried out by “suspected retreating Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists with a few sleeper cells within communities.”
He said the insurgents ambushed and killed innocent women and children in Faduma Koloram village, Gubio LGA of Borno State.
PREMIUM TIMES reported earlier that Governor Zulum was briefed by a male survivor of the attack that insurgents invaded their community in three trucks, surrounded them and opened fire on them.
Mr Sagir said a large contingent of military personnel have been deployed to the area “to track and apprehend or neutralize the perpetrators.”
“We have also mandated the Theatre Command, Operation LAFIYA DOLE to enhance security, dominate the area and reassure the affected communities of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to protect the population,” the army spokesperson said.