The senator representing Borno South, Ali Ndume, has narrated how Boko Haram insurgents killed 75 members of his community in Gwoza local government in one night.
Ndume made this disclosure Wednesday in an emotion-laden presentation during a stakeholders’ meeting organised by Senate Committee on Special Duties and the North East Development Commission (NEDC) in Maiduguri.
The former Senate leader, who is also a member of the committee, informed the gathering that the challenges faced by the people of Borno State were being underreported.
“If the Senate Committee would take time during their stay to go round some of the camps and even the nearby Konduga local government, we would all better appreciate what the people are facing,” he said.
“Even as a serving senator, I still cannot go to Gwoza my home town because it is not safe,” he said.
“Our security operatives are trying their bests, and we have to give it to them. But the situation is overwhelming. People are dying every day, either from attacks or by hunger. We have lost many lives here.
“There was a time in my home town Gwoza, that about 75 elders most of whom I know personally were dragged by Boko Haram to the town’s abattoir and slaughtered like animals. Only two persons survived because their bodies were covered with other people’s’ blood and the assailants thought they were dead.
“In the same Gwoza, Boko Haram had in a single day lined up young men and summarily shot them dead. These were just some stand out cases.”
Ndume also lamented the issue of hunger in the state stressing that the situation would have been worse had there not been non-governmental organisations in Borno.
“We don’t know where we would have been or what would have happened to us in Borno State, had there not been the NGOs,” he said
“People die every day here, and I can assure you that even today or this evening, someone may have died of hunger. I am not talking about children – I mean adults.”
He said these and many other cases of insecurity pushed him to realise the need for the Northeast region to have a Development Commission.
“NEDC was my idea, and I pushed for its formation, not for anything else but to see how our people could be helped out of this ugly situation. And so far, we are impressed with the kind of work they are dong.
“But sadly, the amount of money at the disposal of the commission is not adequate to solve the humanitarian challenges facing Borno state alone,” he said.
The Senate Committee on Special Duties led by Yusuf Abubakar, was in Borno State to review the performance of the NEDC and the National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA)
The committee had upon arrival in Maiduguri paid a courtesy call on the governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum; where they explained their mission before proceeding to the Shehu of Borno’s palace.
At the stakeholders briefing, officials of the Nigeria military, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NEMA and that of the Borno State Emergency Management Agency took time to brief the committee on the situation in the state.
The NEDC Managing Director, Mohammed Alkali-Goni, commended the Senate committee for taking time off their busy schedule to be in Borno State. He said their visit would enable the National Assembly to appreciate the challenges in the region.
The committee is expected to visit IDP camps and some of the locations where the NEDC has projects.