From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri & Umar Muhammad Puma
Death toll in the last Tuesday’s bloody attacks by suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Bama community of Borno state which initially stood at 47, rose to 80, the chairman of the council, Baba Shehu Gulumba has said.
Chief Nursing Officer of the Bama General Hospital, Emit Mohammed Shuwa also told newsmen that after the attacks, 200 injured persons were brought to the hospital,17 died later, some treated and discharged while others with gunshot wounds were referred to various hospitals in Maiduguri
This is even as the monarch of the area, Shehu of Bama, Alhaji Kyari Ibn El-Kanemi, said he narrowly escaped being killed by the assailants who attacked the palace with Rocket Propelled Grenades, (RPGs) and explosives.
Our correspondent who was in the entourage of top officials of the state government who went to the town to sympathise with the wounded victims, reports that a District Head of Goniri Ward, Alhaji Baa Shehu Terab was among those killed by the insurgents.
Over 500 buildings comprising the palace of the monarch, local government chairman, residential houses, shops, schools and markets were burnt. Others were the local government secretariat public offices and several buildings occupied by security forces, among others.
However commander of the youth volunteers popularly known as civilian JTF, who participated in the search and rescue operation, Akura Satomi claimed that 98 people lost their lives, while hundreds of the invaders were equally killed by security forces but they picked the corpses and went away with them.
“We discovered some corpses in the surrounding bushes and inside houses as many of the victims were trapped in their houses after being set on fire and were subsequently burnt alive”, Satomi said.
Also speaking, the Shehu of Bama, El-Kanemi who led newsmen to inspect parts of burnt palace, said he escaped death by the whiskers when the insurgents invaded the palace.
Meanwhile, Following the recent attacks in Bama by the Boko Haram, the House of Representatives yesterday called on the Defence Headquarters, DHQ to send in more troops and sophisticated weapons to Bama and its neighbouring communities in Borno state.
The resolution followed a motion of matter of urgent public importance title: “Deadly Attack on Bama Local Government Area of Borno State by Boko Haram Insurgents” sponsored by Rep Mohammed Monguno (APC Borno).
Monguno noted with dismay that Borno state has witnessed several attacks by insurgents in the last three months, adding that it has cumulated in the killing of hundreds of civilians and several men of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
He insisted that the weapons used by the insurgents appear more sophisticated than the ones used by the army, saying this might have led to the low morale of the officers and men of the Armed Forces engaged in these operations.
The lawmaker expressed dissatisfaction that the inability of the security agents to promptly respond to attacks on Bama invariably led to the killing of 37 people and destruction of the emir’s palace.
In its resolution, the House called on the DHQ to send in more troops and sophisticated weapons to the troubled areas and urged the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA to immediately send relief materials to the affected areas. It further called on the president, senate president and the speaker to visit the troops operating in the areas as a means of boosting their moral.