President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed grief over the killing of farmers on rice fields at Zabarmari, in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State, describing the terrorist killings as insane.
“I condemn the killing of our hardworking farmers by terrorists in Borno State. The entire country is hurt by these senseless killings. My thoughts are with their families in this time of grief. May their souls Rest In Peace.”
President Buhari said the government had given all the needed support to the armed forces “to take all necessary steps to protect the country’s population and its territory.”
PREMIUM TIMES reported how at least 44 rice farmers were killed by suspected members of the Boko Haram while harvesting their crops on Saturday.
Sources in Zabarmari, a Borno community known for rice farming, informed PREMIUM TIMES the farmers were attacked as they were working on a rice field at Garin Kwashebe.
The farmers were attacked on Saturday as residents of the state were voting to elect local government council officials, for the first time in 13 years.
The sources said the farmers “were rounded up and summarily slaughtered by the armed insurgents”.
Hassan Zabarmari, a former chairman of a rice farmers association in Borno State, confirmed the incident to PREMIUM TIMES on phone.
“It was a sad incident that took place at about 11 a.m today,” he said Saturday. “The farmers were attacked at the Garin-Kwashebe rice field, and according to reports reaching us since afternoon, about 40 of them were killed.”
“But we have been receiving conflicting information on the casualty figures – some said it was up to 50 farmers that were slaughtered.”
A member of House Representatives, Ahmed Satomi, who represents Jere federal constituency also confirmed the incident in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES.
“It was a very sad development that happened today at Zabarmari rice field general area,” he said.
“Farmers and fishermen were killed in cold blood. We have so far received 44 corpses from the farms and we are preparing for their burials tomorrow by God’s grace.”
The lawmaker said the farmers “were attacked because they had on Friday disarmed and arrested a Boko Haram gunman who had been tormenting them.”
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
November 28, 2020
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