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Peace & Security

Bloody weekend as 10 people – including four police officers – die in insurgent attacks

6 February 2024
Reading time: 4 minutes

People in the northeast of Nigeria must not make the mistake of believing the insurgency is over, says security journalist.

Four police officers and six residents have been killed in three separate insurgent attacks in Borno and Yobe states in Nigeria’s northeast at the weekend.

Responding to news about the attacks, Mustapha Mohammed Suleiman, a journalist who specialises in security issues, said: “Do not make the mistake of thinking the insurgency is over. Security personnel are trying their best to tackle insecurity in the country, but it is still not over.”

Mohammed Goni, who lives in Kukareta in Yobe State, told RNI that the attack came as a nasty surprise.

“Even at the peak of the insurgency insurgents did not come into the town. No one here was ever killed or injured. We heard insurgents attacking neighbouring villages. And some military bases were attacked,.but they never came here.

“That changed on Saturday night [February 3] when insurgents stormed Kukareta. The insurgents arrived just before midnight. They were shooting haphazardly. They killed two construction workers and another man and abducted three people.

“The whole town is in uproar. We are so scared the insurgents will come again. We never thought they would attack us because they have not done so before.”
Another resident of Kukareta, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed that two of those killed were labourers.

“They killed the two labourers and another man. As they were leaving the village, they burnt down property and tried to get into the district head’s home. They set his car alight and fled.
Lawal Babagana, the district head, confirmed the attack.

In Borno State, insurgents carried out two separate attacks.

The first attack occurred in Gajiram in the Ngazai Local Government Area on Saturday night at about 11pm.

A resident, Ali Adam, said: “The insurgents attacked our community, killing four police officers. They appeared to be targeting the police because after they killed them, they left the town. They did not attack or kill any of the residents.

“But we are worried. We are scared they will return. Everyone is in shock.”
On Sunday, insurgents attacked residents in Kukawa, a town in the local government area of the same name, which borders Lake Chad.

A resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “We do not know all the facts yet, but the insurgents killed three people and wounded many others. For a while now it has been peaceful here. But now we are frightened again. We do not know if or when the insurgents will return.”

Suleiman told RNI that because there had been relative peace in Borno State, residents were beginning to think the insurgency had been quashed.

“That is not so. It is not over yet. Security personnel are doing their best, but it is not over. Attacks by insurgents are still occurring in the Borno State.”

He said insecurity would come to an end only once poverty was eradicated.
“People need jobs – entrepreneurs should be encouraged and supported. While there is insecurity, farmers are afraid to go to their lands. The state needs to ensure they are safe and that they can tend to their lands without having to fear being attacked.

“Religious and traditional leaders need to foster peace and unity among the people.

“Security personnel must be deployed to monitor and surveil communities, particularly those in remote places. Residents also need to do their part by informing security personal if they see, hear or know of any unusual happenings. The military, particularly, needs to earn the trust of the residents. They have been violent in the past and it will take some time before people in Borno to trust them.

“Until all these issues are addressed, there will not be peace in the state and the insurgency will continue.”


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