At least 39 villagers were buried yesterday in Mainok village of Borno State after gunmen dressed in army camouflage attacked them yesterday evening, eyewitnesses and security sources said.
Fleeing villagers from Mainok, some who made it to Maiduguri on foot, said the gunmen also rode in vehicles painted with military colour, a disguise that confused many that fell victims.
This was coming at a time residents of Maiduguri were battling to rescue victims of the Saturday twin blasts that killed at least 52 people, most of them children.
These fresh massacres of hapless civilians have angered many in the state capital, especially the youth in the “civilian-JTF” who, yesterday, expressed their shared angst on both government and security operatives for failing to manage the seemingly intractable Boko Haram attacks that claimed yet another 91 lives on Saturday night.
The youth partly lampooned the Borno State government for not acting well when, according to them, it interfered wrongly in the affairs of the civilian-JTF by “training some of our members in the Borno Youth Empowerment Scheme (BOYES), and giving them uniforms as if that was what would make us perform better”.
“The real civilian-JTF don’t need any salary or uniform to catch Boko Haram; we swore by our faiths and we had no fear because we don’t fear guns or bullets; that was what made us succeed in the first place; but now the morale of our members has been dampened because there is division; some get salary, and others who don’t get anything abandoned the cause,” said Shaibu Adamu, a leader of the civilian-JTF in Ajilari-Ngomari.
The angry youths also did not spare the army, as they accused them of “not being tactical in their operations”. “The Boko Haram are coming from the bush; we told them, time and again, that the best way was to take the war to the Boko Haram enclaves, rather than wait in the cities only for everyone to become an easy prey.
“We will have to protect our selves in our own way if the government and the security failed to do so; we are tired of this continuous bloodshed; enough is enough; if the government fails to stop the killings, then, it is an accomplice,” said the youths.
A resident of Mainok, Mansur Buba, who was also lucky to escape being killed during the attack, told journalists: “I lost two of my cousins whom we have buried today (Sunday). I was so lucky to escape the attack because I had to convey passengers to Maiduguri and pass the night there; the attackers arrived Mainok less than an hour after I left, but sadly some of my cousins were not lucky. The gunmen rounded up the village and began to shoot, setting fire to buildings. Many people were injured as well; some are fleeing as I am talking to you now. I had to quickly leave Mainok for Maiduguri because there is fear everywhere,” said Buba.
Most of the displaced villagers, now taking refuge in the homes of relatives in Maiduguri, said they were disturbed that the attack was carried out without any interruption or rescue from the soldiers until after the insurgents were done.