Thousands of women and children stranded in
Bama, one of the towns seized by Boko Haram in
Borno State, are dying of thirst and hunger as
insurgents stiffen their grip on the town, local
leaders and the Borno State government said
Members of Bama community, under the Bama
Development Association, and officials of the
state government accused the Nigerian
government and the military of lying about the
town having been reclaimed by government
Speaking Thursday in Maiduguri, the community
leaders of Bama, and officials of the Borno State
Government committee on displaced persons,
debunked the federal government’s claims that all
is well in Bama.
“From Monday to date, about 11 days now,
Bama, the second largest Local Government Area
in Borno, is under the custody and control of the
dreaded Boko Haram sect; this is the whole truth
and nothing but the truth,” said Mohammed
Hassan, the chairman of BDA, at a press
Mr. Hassan said since the takeover of the town
by Boko Haram, government troops have not
made effort to reclaim the town and rescue the
women and children as well as aged persons
“After 11 days of the invasion and takeover of
Bama, no search and rescue operation has been
conducted; no damage assessment has been
made, even though the security and welfare of
citizens is the fundamental and constructional
obligation of any meaningful government,” Mr.
The group called on the state and federal
government to expedite action towards reclaiming
Bama from the terrorist as those in captivity are
under serious trauma, starvation, and with various
degrees of injuries.
The group said it could not account for more
women and children who had gotten missing in
the process of fleeing through the rivers.
“Some of the women and children had drowned at
River Yadzaram in the process of fleeing, while
others were shot dead… Apart from those in
captivity others who managed to cross the river
were killed in the nearby villages, and we still
have not been able to recover their corpses for
proper burial,” Mr. Hassan said.
At a separate news briefing, the chairman of
Borno Committee on Displaced Persons, Jidda
Shuwa, said so far 7,000 displaced persons have
arrived Maiduguri, the state capital, in the last 11
days. He said many of the displaced persons
travelled by foot.
Mr. Shuwa also refuted the government’s claims
that Bama had been reclaimed.
“With due respect to the military, going by the
report I have received just this morning from the
133 displaced Bama residents that arrived
Maiduguri today, Bama is still under the control of
the Boko Haram terrorists. Though I am reliably
aware of the military pushing towards Bama, but
for now the town is still under the control of the
terrorists,” Mr. Jidda said.
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