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Fear of Boko Haram: Eminent persons shun late Gwoza monarch’s burial

As sect attacks 4 villages in Borno, kills 15

BY  NDAHI MARAMA

MAIDUGURI—The fear of Boko Haram Islamic sect, which has unleashed a reign of terror in the north eastern part of the country weekend kept away lawmakers, traditional rulers and other important dignitaries from the burial of the Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Shehu Mustapha Idrisa Timta. The Islamic terrorists have also attacked four villages in Borno State killing several people.

The late emir in company of emirs of Askira, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibn Muhammed and emir of Uba, Alhaji Ali Ibn Ismaila  was killed by Boko Haram terrorists on Friday with two police escorts during an ambush by the sect members.

The burial of late Timta was conducted amid tight security with 150 soldiers and 70 policemen on hand. At the burial however, no emir or their representatives were in attendance, even as the House of Assembly member representing Gwoza, Mohammed Jaha Babawo and Hon. Peter Biye, a House of Representative member, representing Gwoza, Damboa and Chibok were absent throughout the interment.

Our Correspondent observed that throughout the ceremony which ended at about 2pm on Saturday, military choppers were busy hovering around Gwoza town, particularly the palace to prevent further attacks and killing by the unrepentant terrorists group.

Though the First Class Monarch was killed while on his way to attend the burial of the Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Shehu Abubakar, none of his colleagues from within and outside the state was able attend his interment due to unpredictable security around Gwoza town.

Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, who was accompanied by his deputy governor, Zanna Mustapha and Senator Muhammed Ali Ndume who is from Gwoza were the highest public officers that led other state government functionaries to attend the burial.

Also, the Borno First Lady, Hajiya Nana Kashim Shettima attended the burial in company of some women Commissioners including Dr. Asabe Vilita Bashir who hails from Gwoza.

Following the destruction of Limankara and Pulka bridges that link Gwoza with Maiduguri and Adamawa State and the ongoing ambush on the highway by Boko Haram almost on daily basis, Alhaji Haruna Idrisa Timta, the former Head of Service, Borno State,  Alhaji Adamu Idrisa Timta, a Permanent Secretary with the Borno State Government who are among the eldest sons of the slain emir, but reside in Maiduguri with their families had to join the convoy of Governor Kashim Shettima to attend their father’s interment.

Governor Shettima who also battled to control his tears as he delivered his tribute and condolences described late Shehu Idrissa Timta as “a man who spent better part of his reign preaching peace and tolerance.”
Meanwhile, a series of suspected Boko Haram attacks in four villages in Borno State killed several people, residents said Sunday. The military was, however, not immediately available to comment on the raids.

All of the targeted villages are in the Gamboru Ngala district near the border with Cameroon, where Boko Haram killed hundreds in a gruesome attack earlier this month.

The latest unrest hit the villages of Nuwari, Musari, Walori on Saturday, where gunmen, some dressed as soldiers and riding in 4×4 trucks, opened fire on civilians and razed much of the area, according to multiple witness accounts.

“They burnt all the villages and took away all our livestock,” said Nuwari resident, Bunu Kaloma.
He said 15 people were killed in the spate of attacks but there were conflicting reports and it was not possible to establish a concrete death toll.

“They came in after dark while a wedding party was going on and went on shooting and tossing explosives into homes,” said a resident, Bukar Mustapha.


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