Nigerian senators were alarmed on Tuesday over the revelation that Boko Haram have killed more than 357 Nigerians in 55 attacks in the last 11 months.
Former Senate Leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, reeled out the disturbing statistics in a motion entitled “The worrisome state of security in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.”
Ndume said that there was no doubt that Boko Haram terrorists have made significant gains in the three northeastern states in the last 11 months.
The Borno South lawmaker told his colleagues that the three front line states have come under heavy attacks from insurgents.
He feared that if something was not done urgently to halt the advance of Boko Haram extremists, the gains made in the fight against terrorism will be eroded.
Ndume said, “The insurgency in the North East is resurfacing. If we need to invite the Security Chiefs to brief the Senate in a closed door session, I will formally move the motion.”
He said that 76 civilians have been killed by the terrorists in November, while 11 soldiers also lost their lives within the same period.
Ndume noted that of the 357 civilians that died, 220 were killed between June and November.
He noted the people were killed as a result of suicide bombings.
He further said that 83 child suicide bombers were used in 2017 alone by the terrorists.
Out of the 83 child suicide bombers, he noted that 55 of them are girls and are under age 15.
He said that 27 young boys of the same age were used for the same purpose by the insurgents.
The senator told his colleagues that 14.8 million people have been affected by the crisis.
He said the estimated cost of destruction is put at over $9 billion (N2.75 trillion).
Ndume said that 85 per cent of the destruction is in Borno. Up to 1.8 million people are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), out of which more than 80 per cent are living in host communities.
He said: “In the year 2017, more than 257 civilians were killed during 55 attacks in the North East. The deadliest month was in August, when the militant group killed 100 people, followed by November with 76 people killed already.
“Recently, three soldiers and a child were killed in Magumeri in Borno, several civilians were killed in Madagali in Adamawa, and eight soldiers were killed in Sasawa in Yone State.
“The cases of suicide bombing in Borno and recently in Mubi, Adamawa that killed 50 people and wounded several others continues to escalate. At least, 220 people were killed since June as a result of suicide bombing.
“Over 83 child suicide bombers were used in 2017. This is four times as many child suicide bombers used in all of 2016. The United Nations agency said out of 83 children deployed by the atrocious insurgents, 55 were girls, mostly under 15 years old and 27 were boys. One was a baby strapped to a girl. Nineteen children were used last year according to UNICEF.”
“About 14.8 million people are affected by the crisis. The estimated cost of destruction is put at over $9 billion. About 80 per cent of the destruction is in Borno. Up to 1.8 million people are IDPs, out of which more than 80 per cent are living in host communities.”
Ndume prayed the chamber to invite Service Chiefs to brief the Senate in a closed door session on the worrisome state of security.
The prayer did not sail through.
The Senate instead referred the issue to Senator Ahmad Lawan-led ad-hoc committee on insecurity, to address.