General

At least 40 loggers feared abducted by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria ABUJA, Three loggers have been found dead and at least 40 more feared abducted by Boko Haram fighters in northeastern Nigeria. Sources and residents said that the loggers were rounded up by the fighters on Thursday in Wulgo forest near the town of Gamboru where they went to collect firewood. “A group of more than 40 loggers left Shehuri on the outskirts of Gamboru on Thursday and never returned by evening as usual,” said a group leader Umar Kachalla, who was involved in the search. “On Friday, we mobilised men and went deep into the forest where we recovered three bodies identified to be among the loggers, without a trace of their colleagues.” The missing loggers were presumed kidnapped by the group, who are known to maintain camps in the forest, said Kachalla, a view widely shared by other residents. The fighters have increasingly targeted loggers and farmers in the northeast, accusing them of passing information to the military and local armed groups. “From all indication, the three dead loggers were shot when they tried to escape as they all were shot from behind.” Gamboru loggers have suffered repeated Boko Haram attacks and abductions, especially around Wulgo forest. In November 2018, Boko Haram seized some 50 loggers on their way to collect firewood in the forest, after killing 49 loggers in two previous attacks. Babandi Abdullahi, a resident, said military officials had warned loggers not to venture deep into the forest to avoid the attacks. People are compelled to take that risk because nearby vegetation has been depleted by constant logging, Abdullahi said. According to the UN, Boko Haram and a splinter group known as ISWAP have killed 36,000 people in the northeast and forced roughly two million to flee since 2009. Earlier this month, Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of more than 300 schoolboys who were taken after an attack on their school in Katsina’s Kankara village, in northwest Nigeria. All the boys have since been rescued. Source: NAM News Network

The Minister of Humanitarian affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has condemned the killings and destruction of property in Southern Borno and Adamawa States. s

In a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary,  Bashir Nura Alkali, the Minister who received with shock the news of the terrorist attacks in Pemi, Chibok and four other communities in Southern  Borno and as well as Garkida in Adamawa State, described the attacks as tragic and barbaric.

“It is really unfortunate that these terrorist attacks happened when people are expected to be enjoying the Christmas holiday with their loved ones. 

“I commiserate with the Government and people of Borno State especially the families of the victims of the sad incident” the Minister stated.

She said the Federal Government condemns the attacks and commended relevant authorities and the Borno State Governor,  Professor Babagana Zulum who immediately visited the affected communities and directed the strengthening of security measures.

The Minister said arrangements are being made to send relief materials to the victims to cushion the effect of the attacks.

 

Source: Voice of Nigeria