Suspected Boko Haram on Sunday killed no fewer than 30 people, majorly late travellers in a Borno village.
Villagers said the victims arrived at the military checkpoint leading into Maiduguri after the 5pm closure of the gate and had no choice but to sleep in Auno, the neighbouring village on the Maiduguri-Damaturu Highway.
The villagers, while narrating their ordeal in the hands of the terrorist group on Sunday night to the Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, said many persons were abducted.
They lamented that 18 vehicles comprising trailers, buses and cars were burnt by the insurgents who laid siege to the village at about 9.50 pm on Sunday.
The villagers, who were still in shock when the governor visited them on Monday morning, said women and children were loaded into three buses and driven away.
The villagers lamented that most of those that were attacked were those that could not get into Maiduguri on Sunday as the gate to the town was shut against them having failed to arrive before the 5pm deadline.
One of the villagers, who spoke to journalists in confidence, said, “It is so sad as the Boko Haram seems to have targeted the people knowing that many would have to sleep in Auno as the gate to Maiduguri would have been shut against them by 5pm.”
The governor, who was visibly shaken when he saw the charred bodies of the victims of the attack, requested the military authorities to dismantle the Auno gate from its present position and move it further away from the village so that it would be more difficult for the insurgents to gain access into the village.
He said the Borno State Government would assist those whose vehicles were destroyed in the attack as well as those whose goods were burnt alongside the vehicles transporting foodstuff and other wares to Maiduguri.
Buhari vows to crush insurgents
In his reaction, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Monday described the killings as “murderous” and “cowardly.”
Buhari, who vowed that his regime would continue to fight the insurgents until they were defeated, commiserated with the families of the victims.
“This administration is ever determined to frustrate their goal to hold Nigeria to ransom.
“The commitment of this administration to protect the lives of Nigerians will not be derailed by the cowardly and indiscriminate violence against innocent people by Boko Haram terrorists,” the President was quoted in a statement by his media aide, Mr Garba Shehu.
The President condoled with government of the state, warning that “terrorists are clearly on the back foot and their days are numbered.”
He added, “As our armed forces continue to receive more hardware and intelligence to counter our current security challenges, the remnants of Boko Haram will ultimately be crushed.
“The peculiar challenges of asymmetric warfare notwithstanding, our armed forces are ever determined to defeat these enemies of humanity.”
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