BY NDAHI MARAMA
MAIDUGURI— In what appears to be total dominance of Borno State, Boko Haram terrorists, Monday night, invaded Jakana village in Konduga council area of the state, killing no fewer than 40 people including two policemen.
The gunmen were said to have arrived the village around 10 pm in 21 Toyota Hilux vehicles and motorcycles, as well as explosives and petrol-bombs.
Other property destroyed in the multiple attacks include the police station, a primary school, mosque and several houses and huts of villagers.
An unconfirmed report, however, said that dozens of the terrorists who attacked Jakana were bombed in a nearby Sambisa village by Air Force fighter jets while attempting to flee from military counter offensives.
Jakana is on Maiduguri-Damaturu road and 40 kilometres west of Maiduguri, the state capital. The insurgents that attacked Mainok, last Saturday, also killed 39 people. Jakana village which was set ablaze, is 20 kilometres east of Mainok.
An eyewitness, and resident of Jakana, Ba Mala Modu in a telephone conversation, yesterday, in Maiduguri said that the insurgents stormed the village at 10pm with explosives and petrol-bombs, chanting God is Great in Arabic. They shot sporadically into the air initially, before setting the houses ablaze for three hours.
Modu said: “The gunmen came in droves in Toyota Hilux vehicles and motorcycles; and started shooting, killing and at the same time pouring petrol on our houses and huts, setting them on fire. The people in the houses cried for help, but no one was there to prevent these multiple attacks and killings. Some of us had to flee towards the neighbouring villages, farmlands and bushes.
“I am talking to you now from a hiding place in the bush. I cannot get into the village, but we counted 35 bodies that were pulled out from the torched houses this morning; and more bodies could be retrieved before noon today (yesterday), because several people were trapped in their houses when the insurgents wreaked havoc on both lives and property.”
Speaking on the fleeing villagers, he said: “We had to flee, because when the gunmen struck in the night, some of us fled through the farmlands and bushes. Some of the fleeing villagers had to trek to Maiduguri for safety, while others are taking refuge in the neigbouring villages with no protection from security agents. My neigbour called me that two policemen were killed, while repelling the insurgents who set the police station on fire.”
He said there were no soldiers in the village when the attackers struck, adding that the policemen at the station were overpowered, and lost officers who were on duty, while trying to repel them that night. According to him, “the soldiers rushed to the village immediately after the attack on their patrol vehicles, and cordoned off the Maiduguri-Damaturu Road for two hours, before motorists were allowed to pass through the destroyed village in which over 35 people were slain, including 15 women and children between the ages of nine and 12”.
Confirming the incident, the Borno police commissioner said that armed hoodlums attacked another village (Jakana) on the Maiduguri-Damaturu Road, killing several people and promised to send the details to newsmen as soon as it got to his office.
However, Police sources in Maiduguri also said that since the Maiduguri twin blasts of last Saturday that claimed 53 lives, the weekend and Monday’s attacks in Mainok, Jakana villages and Mafa town also claimed the lives of over 120 people, while property worth billions of naira were destroyed.
Yobe killings: We’re working to avert future
attacks on schools —IG
Meanwhile, following the gruesome massacre of over 50 students of a Federal Government College, in Yobe State, Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has assured that the security agencies in the country were working together to ensure that such dastardly act was not allowed to occur again.
Towards this end, the police boss said the safety and security of students and academic institutions across the country are now to be accorded top security priority.
Speaking at the Force Headquarters when the staff and students of Pacesetters’ College, Gwarimpa, Abuja paid him a visit, Abubakar noted that “following the concern and directive of President Goodluck Jonathan, all the security agencies are doing everything humanly possible to ensure that no child, student and their teachers are attacked again anywhere in the country”.
While requesting for the observance of a one minute silence in honour of the students who were murdered in Yobe State, he stated that both overt and covert deployment of operatives into schools were being increased.
He assured that the security agencies were also working with local communities to improve security in and around schools.