Residents of Zabarmari in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State have stated that if the Nigerian military had taken action after being told of the imminent strike, the killing of rice farmers in the community would have been prevented.
One of the surviving villagers, who gave his name as Abubakar Salihu, said they foresaw trouble after arresting one of the Boko Haram terrorists and handing him over to security operatives, according to the Daily Trust.
“We informed military beforehand that our members sighted Boko Haram in large numbers but nothing was done about it he said.
“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.
Another rice farmer, Mohammed Alhaji, told the publication that when the rebels summoned and gathered them, the victims were busy harvesting rice.
“It was a deliberate tactic to guarantee that we do not harvest our farm produce. We need to get the federal government to assist us and secure our lives,” he said.
On Saturday, November 28, the Zabarmari attack occurred as Boko Haram terrorist groups rounded up farmers on rice fields and slit their throats or decapitated them.
After the attack, a total of 43 bodies were recovered in one place. Bodies recovered from other places have raised the toll of death to 110.
The military has not responded to the claims of the villagers yet. However, Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, has blamed the deaths of the farmers on their failure to get military clearance before working on the field.
This was said by Garba Shehu while speaking to the BBC.
“The truth has to be said. Was there any military clearance from the military who are in total control of the area? Did anybody ask to resume activity?” Shehu said while speaking to BBC ‘Newsday’.