The United Nations have confirmed that no fewer than 110 rice farmers killed at Koshebe village in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State by suspected Boko Haram insurgents on Saturday in contrast to reports suggesting that only 43 persons were killed.
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Edward Kallon, as quoted by AFP News Agency, made this disclosure while giving an update on killings in the northeastern part of the country.
Although the victims lived in Zabarmari, a farming community in Jere Local Government Area which is famous for rice cultivation and local processing, the attack occurred at Koshebe village.
“No fewer than 110 civilians were killed in the North-East Nigeria attack. The weekend attack on a village in northeastern Nigeria blamed on the Boko Haram jihadist group left at least 110 dead,” Kallon said.
The disclosure by the UN coordinator was corroborated by the Initiative for Conciliation and Rights Protection (ICRP) which reported on Sunday that apart from over 40 farmers killed, many women employed to work on the Kwashabe Rice Farm were still missing after the attack.
Meanwhile, the 43 rice farmers killed on Saturday were buried on Sunday amid wails by residents of Jere Local Government Area of Borno State.
The attackers were reported to have first tied up the farmers working on the rice field on Saturday morning before slitting their throats. Borno State governor, Babagana Zulum, who attended the burial of the farmers, said residents informed him that the death toll could be as high as 70, because some of the farmers were still missing.
He noted the imperative for Nigeria to forge closer cooperation with its neighbouring countries so as to defeat insurgency that had ravaged the nation for over a decade. He pleaded with the Federal Government to recruit more indigenes of the state into the military and other security agencies to combat the insurgency.
“We will restrategise and ensure total domination of the Zabarmari, Gonglong, Koshebe axis of the state.
“We will recruit more CJTF and hunters so that our people can take the fight to all nooks and crannies of this area.
“We appeal to the Nigerian Army and Air Force to strengthen their support, with a view to defeating the insurgents,” Zulum said.