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No Military Officer Has Visited Us Since NAF Bomb Our People – Buwari, Yobe Youth Leader

Buwari

No military officer has visited us since NAF bomb killed eight of our people – Buwari, Yobe youth leader

Alhaji Ali Buwari is a 30-year old father of four and youth leader in Buwari community, Yobe State. His grandfather, grandmother and uncle were injured when the Nigerian Air Force jet mistakenly bombed the community on Wednesday, last week.

Has the community been attacked by Boko Haram before?

Well, there have been Boko Haram terrorists hibernating around the eastern and western axis of the village where their camps are. From there, they drive into the village on their motorcycles. They have been coming to the village to steal and commit other atrocities but for quite some time now the villagers have chased them out of the village to the dessert. It has been long since they were chased out of the village but you know, they will always find their way into the area once in a while especially when there is no presence of security personnel. That we cannot rule out but they are mostly camped in the dessert. And, in this rainy season, I can say categorically that there is no Boko Haram coming into the village because the river has blocked them from having access with their motorcycles and you know there has been an outbreak of cholera in the village. That has also barred them from entering because they too are afraid of the disease.

How did attack by the Air Force happen? Can you give a vivid account?

The day that unfortunate incident happened was on a Wednesday. The villagers were already prepared to go for the weekly market at Geidam. As early as 7:30am some had set out for the market when, from nowhere, we heard the sound of an aircraft coming from the western axis and then, heavy sounds of bullets shelling everywhere. Then the jet passed through the eastern axis. Instantly, three people died. Before we knew what was happening, we heard loud cries of people as they were running helter skelter trying to hide thinking it was an attack from the insurgents. In the process of running to safety, some got hit by bullets, some by metallic substances while others got hit while trying to tend to the those that died from the bullet. We saw houses on fire but we were not after the houses or material things, we were more interested in saving lives of those affected.

We immediately arranged for vehicles and began to transport the injured victims to Geidam general hospital. We transported 28 people. Among them were women and children while eight persons lost their lives.

When it started, what did you think it was?

Initially when the shooting started we thought it was Boko Haram terrorists that had attacked us. When we discovered it was a military jet, we thought maybe Boko Haram had invaded the village but we then realised that there was no Boko Haram infiltration as such we wondered what happened. We then called our local government chairman and the member representing Yunusari at the state assembly and informed them of the development. They, in turn asked us to evacuate those that sustained injuries to the hospital where the chairman came and met us.

Can you name the victims and the families affected?

In Buwari we are all brothers and sisters because we are all related and it is a relatively small settlement. Everybody knows everyone and everyone is related to all.

I cannot give actual names of those affected by the incident because we are still trying to get the best medical attention for the injured victims while the eight dead bodies have already been buried; so it will be difficult to say so so person is affected but my grandfather, my uncle and my grandmother sustained injuries from the aerial attack by the fighter jet.

Among those killed were women and aged men.

Those who sustained injuries that were taken to the hospital in Geidam are 28, among whom are over10 women and children. Most of the affected persons are aged men, Women and children. The youth are not many.

One particular eight-year-old child was hit by a metal on his forehead and blood was rushing profusely from the wound. When he was brought to the hospital, the doctor recommended the child be rushed to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital where he could receive proper medical attention. As we speak, he is in Maiduguri now but I cannot say anything about his condition.

One of the men that sustained injury and taken to Geidam hospital was, on Saturday referred to Damaturu for further medical attention.

A woman had a broken bone. The bone was badly broken that she too was referred to a hospital in Damaturu.

What is the extent of damage?

I cannot quantify the extent of the damage at this moment because we have yet to take inventory of the property destroyed by the aerial attack. We are not concerned about the property or houses destroyed because we believe it is the will of God and it was ordained by God to happen the way it happened. We are also busy with the injured victims here in the hospital. But houses were burnt down. Properties worth millions of naira were lost in the fire inferno that arose as result of the persistent firepower from the fighter jet.

The eight people that were killed were buried in the evening of that same day in a mass grave.

It will interest you to know that, when we heard that there was a metallic substance that had penetrated the ground in the village, we reported to the military but up till this moment, they have not stepped their feet into the village. Since that attack, no single soldier or policeman has gone to see the level of damage Air Force has done in our village.

What do you want from government?

To start with, Buwari village is the second biggest ward in the Yunusari LGA. We deliver some of the largest number of votes to the ruling APC. Since the return of democracy, we have always voted for the party and candidates the government wants us to vote for. In each of the previous elections, we have always delivered not fewer than 3,000 votes to the government. But that is where it ends. We do not have a single government presence in our village. Even the only local market we built from our hard earned money has been closed. There is no good access road to our village, nothing. Our aged parents living in the village live in perpetual fear of possible attack from the Boko Haram terrorists because there are no security forces around the village.

To paint the whole picture in the right perspective, in all the elections that have been conducted in this country, the ad hoc staff and all security personnel have never got to the village, what we usually do is to hire buses and transport all the electorate from the village and take them to Geidam to cast their votes, after that, we transport them back when they finish voting in the evening.

In the past few weeks, Cholera has killed over 10 people in Buwari village and over 100 are currently receiving treatment at Geidam general hospital. Cholera has badly affected us to the extent that the hospital doesn’t have the facility to contain all patients therefore they only treat the patients and send them back home to return at appointed times for check-up.

This disease is as a result of bad water we consume from the river surrounding the village. We do not have a single source of potable water supply.

Lastly, I want to tell the Governor, Mai Mala that his effort is being sabotaged by those parading themselves as his loyalists from that area because they have continued to take advantage of the insecurity situation in the area to enrich themselves. I have useful information I want to tell him but this powerful aides have continued to frustrate and block me from having access to him. But if he gets to read this interview, tell him that the security situation in Buwari is getting worse and his efforts are being undermined by his subordinates.

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Environment

134 Dead, 76,887 Houses Destroyed As Flooding Hits Jigawa

Heavy flooding in Jigawa State has resulted in the death of 134 persons and destroyed 76,887 houses.

The deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Umar Namadi disclosed this when he hosted the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) official, Rahman Rihub Mahmud Fara on Saturday.

He said the state lost property worth more than N1.5 trillion to the floods.

A total of 22 roads and 11 bridges were completely washed away by the floods, he said.

The deputy governor said an entire village was also completely destroyed.

He said the flood affected 272,189 people, out of which 76,887 lost their houses.Mr Namadi said Kirikasamma and Birniwa local government areas are greatly affected.

UNICEF chief field officer in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa, Mr Fara, said they came to assess the situation and see what could be done to alleviate the suffering of the communities affected by flood in the state.

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NEMA Confirms Four Dead In Mushin Building Collapse

The three-storey building which collapsed on Friday in Lagos killed four persons.

This is according to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The agency said one other person was rescued in the building that collapsed on Oye Sonuga Street, Palm Avenue, in Mushin, Lagos.

NEMA South-West Zonal Coordinator, Mr Ibrahim Farinloye, revealed that those who died were two males and two females.

Earlier, the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr Omotayo Bamgbose-Martins the cause of the collapse would beinvestigated.

It is learnt that the three-storey building built 40 years would be pulled down immediately for safety reasons and to forestall further collapse, said Bamgbose-Matins.

He has therefore, ordered the Lagos State Building Control Agency and the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory to unravel the cause of the collapse.

 

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Flooding Displaces 2000 In Nasarawa Communities

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Heaving flooding in some communities in Nasarawa state has caused the displacement of about 2000 people.

The Chairman, Doma Local Government in Nasarawa State, Ahmed Sarki-Usman who spoke on Friday during an assessment visit to the affected communities said the incident happened on September 20.

He said his visit was to ascertain the level of damage caused by the flood to report the situation to the state government for necessary action.

“It is unfortunate that the flood destroyed houses, farmlands, produce and other valuables worth millions of naira. Many inhabitants of the area affected by the flood have deserted their homes and are now camping at primary schools as temporary sites. What my people are facing is completely devastating,’’ he lamented.

Sarki-Usman urged people in the communities to remain calm as the government would soon assist them.

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