“I have only four children, one was killed some months ago, while he was riding his commercial tricycle near Pulka, and now I cannot account for two of the remaining three even though some people said they saw the corpse of the third one“, lamented Fatima Mohammed, a middle aged mother over Gwoza invasion by the Islamic Jihadist group, Boko Haram. Her cries came as trigger happy Police officers stationed at the Borno State government house opened fire on protesters as they came to seek audience with the Governor of the Borno State to table their plight.
According to information available to 247ureports.com, members of Gwoza community in Maiduguri as well as those residing in the captured community currently under the control of the Jihadist group, Boko Haram had staged a massive protest against the orders of the police not to stage the said protest. The aggrieved protesters who find themselves refugees in their homeland, stormed the streets of Maiduguri. The protesters comprised largely of women who dared police officers to stop or shoot at them.
But the protest turned bloody as a trigger happy police officer squeezed his trigger of his AK47 that was pointed at the protesters. The police officer pulled his trigger as the protesters made their way to the gate of the government house where they attempted to gain entrance. He shot a 26years old man in the skull. The injured 26years old man was rushed to the intensive care unit of the University of Maiduguri Teaching hospital. It is uncertain the status of the young man.
Unshaken by the shooting, the protesters held on to their protest to see the governor. They held on to their stand for about 2hours when the security agents at the government house entrance buckled and allowed them into the Deputy Governor’s office where they waited to be attended. But when the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Zanna Umar Mustapha, arrived, the protesters protested even more angrily accusing the state government of being parochial – to send them the Deputy who is of Southern Borno when the state governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, was in town. The Deputy, in reaction, pleaded for calm, promising that he will get the Governor to address them. They agreed.
But agonizing cries and tears of lamentation continued to fill the air in the waiting room as several Gwoza natives whose husbands, children or parents had been killed in Gwoza narrated their respective ordeals. An elderly man who had lost the entire 15 members of his family shared that “I cannot even go and bury them; their corpses still litter everywhere near my burnt house since Wednesday now“. A woman slumped and fainted as she was narrating how she lost her father, mother and siblings. Afiniki Ngoshe whose brother had escaped to the Mandara mountains placed a phone call to her brother, Sanusi who is believed to have been trapped at the mountain without food or water. Sanusi lamented of the hash and inhumane conditions they were facing at the mountain. In his words, “we are dying here, no food, no water and the stench of decaying corpses is suffocating us to death, the Boko Haram terrorists won’t allow us descend the mountains, please send us help at once”. Another displaced resident also trapped at mountain had this to say, “We are feeding on wild fruits and leaves. We scramble for drinking water that pooled on the rocks before they dry off. We are dying, I don’t know why federal government had chosen to abandon us now; are we not citizens of Nigeria? ”
Amidst the cries and lamentations, the Borno state governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima arrived to receive the protesters. He received them at the Multi-Purpose hall. He was quick to plead for understanding while directing the blame for the situation to the federal government who had placed a state of emergency on the state. In his words, “if I have the powers to end this today, I do not need anyone to tell me or remind me. But God knows I have no such powers, that is why we are suffering this long“. The governor also assured them that the federal government was doing all within its powers to see that Gwoza is reclaimed.
Alhaji Kashim Shettima revealed also that his administration has mobilized logistics to ensure that all displaced residents of Gwoza are received and given the best care in a camp in Askira Uba towns.
In a related development, 247ureports.com has gathered that the Nigerian soldiers in Gwoza has since retreated back to Maiduguri after Boko Haram gunmen had attacked them, killing scores and taking over most of their abandoned weapons.