There’s no doubting the fact that the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, is gravely disturbed by the continued killings of his subjects by insurgents.
In just 48 hours, the troubled governor has rushed to the Villa twice to brief President Goodluck Jonathan on the insurgents’ killing spree in his state.
Shettima was in the Presidential Villa on Monday to brief Jonathan on the Idzghe killings that claimed the lives of over 130 people at weekend; again on Wednesday to talk about similar attack on Bama, another community in the state.
During his first visit, the governor had allowed his emotion to overwhelm him when he made some statements that tended to undermined Nigerian military’s order of battle on Borno.
He had said during that his Monday’s visit that members of Boko Haram were better equipped and motivated than the Joint Task Force team in the region.
This has expectedly drawn the ire of the Presidential Adviser on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, who had had faulted the governor’s claim.
The governor, who met Jonathan for about one hour declined to answer questions on Okupe’s press conference, but said: “I don’t want to comment on Okupe. I am here to see our President and I am here to update him on the goings on in Bama and I don’t want to make additional comments.
On his mission to the villa for the second time in 48 hours, Shettima said: “Do I need your consent to come and see my President? He is the President of Nigeria and I need to update him adequately on the goings-on in the state.”
On the latest attack on Bama which occurred around 4 a.m on Wednesday, the governor said: “There was an attack on Bama. We are yet to get the actual number of casualties but I was told they have inflicted a lot of damage on the town, otherwise the military men are doing their best.”
On whether he was summoned, Shettima insisted that he came on his own to update the President on the Bama attack and was not summoned to explain his Monday comments.
“I came on my own. He is the President of Nigeria for God’s sake. Why can’t I come and update him? Is it wrong or is it a crime to do so?”
Meanwhile the Senator representing Borno Central, Ahmed Zannah had told BBC Hausa Service that several persons were killed in Wednesday’s attack on Bama, insisting that he personally knows two persons killed by the insurgents.
He also said that many property were destroyed in the town by the sect who were on rampage in the early hours of the day.
Someone that called in from the town claimed that among those killed were five prominent individuals in the town.
The source who spoke anonymously said “I can tell you that several persons were killed by the hoodlums who went from one house to the other killing people at will.”
“They went about burning shops and shot severally into the air,” he added.
It was gathered from sources in the town that the hoodlums came at about 4am and burnt down some shops.
The attack according to some residents prevented them from coming out for the early morning Muslims prayer as they had to remain indoor to afford being shot.
It could however be reported that some residents of the town had earlier told journalists on phone that no one had died in the attack.
According to the source, the Palace of the Shehu of Bama, Alhaji Kyari Ibn ibrahim Elkanemi was merely spared by the hoodlums who torched it’s vicinities.
He claimed there was no human casualty, insisting that “we have had to comb the town for corpses and luckily enough we found none.”
Another resident of the town revealed that most communication lines were down and that traffic in and out of the town have been stopped with major streets barricaded.
When contacted, the police commissioner, Lawan Tanko told journalists that there was an attack on the town but he was yet to be furnished with the details by his men.
In another development, the residences of the Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, Major General Tukur Buratai was attacked in another siege on troubled Borno State.
Major General Buratai, an indigene of Buratai, town in Biu local government of Borno state, has a family house and personal residence in the town.
The invasion of Buratai’s family house where a person was said to have been killed and another injured came on the heels of another attack by the sect on Bama town.
A source said the hoodlums came heavily on Buratai’s family house at about 6pm on Tuesday perhaps because he is a soldier.
He lamented that they killed a carpenter at the family house which was totally razed.
The source who preferred anonymity, said they were however not successful at the personal house of the general. He said they received some resistance from the soldiers on guard.
He however said a soldier was killed in the exchange of gunfire.