Nigeria’s bloody November in memory
The month of November will perhaps go down in history as one that saw one of the most killings and attacks on communities, most of which are Christian, by Islamist terrorists, Boko Haram. The devastation by Islamic Fulani cattle herdsmen on predominantly Christian communities in the Middle Belt regioncontinued unabated.
Well over 200 people were killed in about three weeks of the month in various incidences.
Islamic Fulani cattle herdsmen attacked Christian farming communities in Rim, Riyom Local Government Area of northern Plateau State, on 7 November, leaving eleven people dead.
The day before, in Zamfara State, north western Nigeria, Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, in the state, Shehu Muhammad, confirmed the killings of many people but failed to give any figures, on 6th November in Gidan Ardo Village of Bindin district of Maru Local Government Area. The claim was ‘unknown gunmen’ however residents said it was Fulanis rustling cows. Residents, however, said about 40 people must have lost their lives in the incident.
on 15 November, a twin suicide bomb blast by Boko Haram killed at least 18 people and injured 29 others injured others in Muna Gari, Konduga Local Government Council of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, the home base of Boko Haram. Barely a week later, 19th November, Boko Haram beheaded six farmers at Dimge plantation in the Mafa Local Government Area of Borno.
In another incident, in Zamfara state, suspected Islamist Fulani herdsmen, at least 25 people were killed on 20 November at Dole, Tudun Bugaje and Kwangwami communities in Zurmi Local Government Area of the state.
The Christian communities, which had suffered series of attacks from Boko Haram Islamists and Fulani Cattle herders also came under attack on 21 November with the killing of 80 people in two separate attacks; in Mubi 50 people were killed in at the Massalacin Madina at Anguwan Shuwa mosque at the beginning of morning prayers by a suicide bomber and another 30, mostly women and children were also killed, 21 November, in Shafaran, Shawal, Gumara, Kikam and Kadamti villages in Numan Local Government Council of Adamawa State.
On November 26, the Nigerian Army also confirmed the death of three soldiers in a battle with Boko Haram members after the insurgents invaded an army base and Magumeri community in Borno State.
The Nigerian Army on November 25, said it had also killed a number of the Islamic jihadists in the same period saying it had killed 14 Boko Haram terrorists and rescued about 240 of their captives from communities like Abusuriwa, Newchina, Bonzon, Usmanari, Goyayeri, Shitimari, Gashimari, Awaram amongst other villages in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.
The army has however been unable to locate or set free the remaining Chibok schoolgirls and the oil workers captured by Boko Haram earlier this year.
Governors of the 36 states of the country have agreed to $1 billion to the federal government to fight the Islamic Boko Haram insurgency.
Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, speaking to the press on Thursday 14th November, said the money which will be drawn from the Excess Crude Account, will be spent on the purchase of security equipment, procurement of intelligence and logistics.
In a swift denial, the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, in a statementissued Friday 15th December, denied any general agreement by governors to withdraw $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to fight Boko Haram insurgency.
The governor said, the withdrawal is simply a ploy by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government to fund President Muhammadu
Buhari’s re-election bid in 2019.
“For posterity sake, I wish to place it on record that I was not among the governors who approved the withdrawal of almost half of our savings in the Excess Crude Account, which belongs to the three tiers
of government to fight an already defeated insurgency,” he declared.
The statement issued in Ado Ekiti the Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said, “Since they said they have defeated Boko Haram, what else do they need a whopping sum of $1 billion (over N360 billion) for; if not to fund the 2019 elections?” he demanded. “The APC promised to wipe out Boko Haram within six months, now it is 31 months and what the APC government is wiping out is the economy of Nigeria and the means of livelihood of the people,” Fayose said.
Shehu Sani, Senator representing Kaduna central senatorial district, also condemned the claimed billion dollars withdrawal. “One billion dollars to fight Boko Haram as approved by the FG officially means the insurgent are yet to be technically defeated.” He said.
“Throwing money to counter those throwing bombs hasn’t worked in the past,” Sani said on his Facebook post.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos.