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Zulum leads burial of 43 Zabarmari rice farmers, appeals for recruitment of Borno hunters into military

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Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum on Sunday led the burial rites of the 43 Zabarmari rice farmers who were massacred by the Boko Haram insurgents over the weekend.

The bereaved community however revealed that the death toll might rise from 43 identified farmers killed as many of them were still missing.

The farmers were gruesomely murdered by the suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Saturday having been subdued at a massive rice plantation in Kashebe village.

“We were involved in the retrieval of corpses of those killed. It was still very early to determine the actual number of those killed, residents told governor Zulum in an emotional manner.

One of the residents, who preferred anonymity for security reason, said: “Your Excellency, as you have seen here, 43 corpses were buried, but others have not been retrieved from the scene of the incident. Nobody can tell you the exact number of people killed. Some of the victims are still missing.”

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After listening to the grievances of residents, the governor expressed sympathy over the attack, saying that he has been briefed about those who are still missing.

He said: “First of all, accept my deepest sympathy over this carnage, once again, that affects all of us and every human with conscience. I am told some persons are still missing. We have been discussing with the military since yesterday, Insha Allah the remaining people will be traced soon.”

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The Governor later told journalists, that:
“It is disheartening that more than 40 citizens were slaughtered while they were working in their farmlands. Our people are in very difficult situations, they are in two different extreme conditions, in one side they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents.

“This is very sad. We are still appealing to the Federal Government to ensure recruitment of more of our youths in the CJTF and hunters into the Nigerian military and the Civil Defence so that they can form part of the agro rangers that will protect farmers.

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“We need many boots to protect farmlands and our youths understand the terrain. We will not lose hope because we have to remain optimistic about ending the insurgency.”

It was discovered that the victims of the attack lived in Zabarmari, a farming community in Jere local government area, famous for rice cultivation and local processing, but they were attacked on Saturday, at Koshebe village, a place in Mafa Local Government Area where they cultivated rice.

Reacting, President Muhammadu Buhari described the attack as unfortunate.

In series of tweets by his media aide, Garba Shehu, Buhari said the Nigerian Military has been provided with what it takes to tackle insurgency in the Northeast.

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