Zabarmari massacre: military ignore residents’ early warning


By Abba Gwale

Residents of Zabarmari on Sunday informed the military of an imminent attack but nothing was done.

One of the surviving villagers, who gave his name as Abubakar Salihu, said they foresaw danger after they arrested one of the Boko Haram terrorists and handed him to security operatives.

“We informed military beforehand that our members sighted Boko Haram in large numbers but nothing was done about it.
“It was a sad day for us in Zabarmari; it could have been averted but the military failed to act on the information we gave them,” he said.

The military has not yet responded to the villagers’ claims.

Another rice farmer, Mohammed Alhaji, said the victims were busy harvesting rice when the insurgents summoned and assembled them.

“It was a deliberate act to ensure that we do not harvest our farm produce. We need the federal government to assist us and secure our lives,” he said.

The imminent attack came on Saturday, as Boko Haram terrorists rounded up farmers on rice fields and slit their throats or beheaded them.

A total of 43 bodies were recovered in one location after the attack. Bodies recovered from other locations have raised the death toll to 110.

Daily Trust reported that about two weeks ago, troops and members of the vigilante also arrested some Boko Haram insurgents around the affected communities.

Garba Shehu blames slain Victims

Earlier today, Presidential spokesman Mallam Garba Shehu said Zabarmari farmers should have obtained military clearance before resuming farming activities in the area.

Mr. Shehu who spoke to BBC ‘Newsday’ said the government was sad about the tragic incident, but added that the “people need to understand what it is like in the Lake Chad Basin area.”

He claimed that though much of the area has been liberated from Boko Haram terrorists, there are still several spaces that have not been cleared for the return of villagers who have been displaced.

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