Ngala (Borno) – The Borno State Government on Sunday said it planned to rebuild about 400 shops destroyed during last Monday’s attack by suspected Boko Haram insurgents at the Ngala Central Market.
Gov. Kashim Shettima made the promise when he paid a sympathy visit to the market, which is located at the headquarters of the Gamboru-Ngala Local Government Area of the state.
He said government would also assist the traders with some money to enable them go back to business.
Shettima said a committee had already been set up to collate data on the number of persons affected by the attack for assistance.
“My visit is to sympathise with you over the sad incident. I want you to know that what happened to you affects all the people of the state, as we are deeply touched by your predicament.
“Government will provide funds for building a new market in place of the burnt structures.
“Government will also assist traders who lost their shops with some cash to enable them go back to business,” the governor said.
He said the money would be released as soon as the committee submitted its report on the actual number of persons affected by the attack.
Speaking earlier, Alhaji Bukar Dallatu, Chairman of the market’s Caretaker Committee, told the governor that about 300 vehicles including 17 heavy duty trailers were destroyed by the attackers.
Dallatu appealed to the government to assist the victims to enable them go back to business.
Also speaking, Malam Bukar Modu, an eyewitness, told newsmen in Ngala that about 350 persons were killed during the attack.
“The attackers came around 1.30 p.m. on Monday, when most traders were preparing for the afternoon prayers.
“They arrived in a convoy of military vehicles dressed in military uniform,’’ Modu said.
“Some traders began to suspect them, but they could not do much. The invaders moved so fast and started shooting the traders and looting their wares.
“Some of them began to throw fire into the shops, thereby causing commotion.
“We began to run, but they were just too strong. At the end, more than 300 persons were killed on that day, while many were injured.
“We discovered many other bodies under the rubbles of the destroyed market the following day, bringing the number of those killed to about 350 persons.”
Modu, who said the situation had created hardship for many of those who lost their means of livelihood, called for help from the government.(NAN)