Maiduguri and Yola — Tragedy struck again in Borno State on Saturday night when 106 people were killed by insurgents in an attack on Izge village near the border with Adamawa State.
There was another attack in Doron Baga, close to the Lake Chad, in Kukawa Local Government Area, but details were sketchy.
The latest violence came less than a week after nine soldiers were killed at Izge, while dozens of other people were killed in Konduga.
During the Saturday night attack in Izge, Gwoza Local Government Area, gunmen fired at fleeing people and slaughtered others who were captured, according to survivors who escaped into neighbouring Adamawa State.
"We heard gunshots around 9 pm on Saturday and ran to the bush. The attackers rounded up and shot 40 people who tried to escape while those caught inside houses were slaughtered," said Adamu Bulama Za, who fled to Gulak, headquarters of Madagali LGA of Adamawa.
"After they left around 3am on Sunday, I decided to set out to Gulak at dawn alongside one of my daughters who is a cripple. My wife and the rest of the children are on their way."
Another survivor, Salamatu Ali, who lost a father in-law and a brother in-law in the violence, said: "My husband scaled the fence to survive. When I left Izge this morning around 7am, I saw more than 70 corpses lying including that of my father in-law and there was nobody to bury them. Everybody was leaving."
Senator representing Borno South, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, told Daily Trust last night that the total number of people killed in the latest Izge attack was 106. He said 60 bodies were buried yesterday, while the remaining would be buried today, and that number of injured people was "uncountable."
"The unfortunate thing is that those being killed are innocent, poor masses who don't know anything," Ndume said.
He said the total number of people killed in one month in Borno and Adamawa states was up to 500.
"We are all frightened by the escalation of violence and killings in just one month between February and January this year," he said.
Ndume said also that Borno Governor Kashim Shettima has been running from one place to another seeking for help from federal authorities. The governor met with the National Security Adviser and the Chief of Army Staff yesterday, and would meet President Jonathan today.
"I will also meet with the Senate President David Mark and Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal tomorrow (today) to seek for their assistance and intervention in order to stop the annihilation of our people," he said.
Daily Trust learnt that some young men and women were abducted by the gunmen in Izge.
Residents said troops in the area were "withdrawn by higher authorities soon after the killing of nine of them" last week, making the community vulnerable to the latest attack.
Borno State commissioner of police Lawal Tanko confirmed the latest attack but said he was yet to get the full details of what actually transpired.
"It happened but for now, I don't have figures of the number of people killed," he said.
Hassan Ali, a farmer in Izge, told journalists that the attack was executed by "dozens of terrorists, dressed in military uniforms, armed with guns, rocket launchers and knives."
"So far, we have recovered 63 bodies and many others with life threatening injuries. Sadly, many of our people are nowhere to be found," Ali added.
A senior Gwoza local government official said his people are under siege. "I don't want to talk of the level of destruction but the fact is we are at the verge of extinction. The terrorists succeeded in killing our people because we don't have any protection, no soldiers in Izge anymore," he said.
Adamu Izge, who lost a brother in the attack, said: "They burnt down the whole community and even followed those that escaped to the nearby villages and slaughtered them."
"It is clear that the terrorists are out to wipe us out. Nigerian security forces do not have the wherewithal to contain them. For now, Gwoza, Bama, Konduga and Damboa towns and all the villages around them are facing extinction," he added.
10,000 flee to Adamawa
Meanwhile, thousands of people fleeing the Saturday night attack on Izge have flooded into Adamawa State, local authorities have said.
Speaking to Daily Trust by telephone, the chairman of Madagali LGA, Maina Ularamu, said: "I am in Abuja but have received report that more than 10,000 people have trooped in to Gulak town and many of them are stranded on the street because the houses are full, so I gave an instruction to open one of the primary schools for them."
The chairman's security advisor, Walkari Umaru, who spoke from Gulak, said thousands of people were arriving from Izge.
Umaru appealed to the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, to ensure the deployment of adequate military equipment to the area to tackle the security in the North-East. Air Marshal Badeh is from Adamawa State.
Another Madagali official, Walkari Meduhu, said: "As I am talking to you hundreds are stranded under trees but we have decided to convert the PDP youths office in Duhu ward to a temporary camp to provide shelter for them."
Nearly 200 people have been killed in the latest wave of attacks in Borno State over the past week.
In the Konduga incident on Tuesday, gunmen in their hundreds descended on the town during the market day and killed at least 57 people.
An official said villagers had given information that they had seen insurgents riding many cars and motorbikes towards Konduga, but authorities appeared not to have taken any measure to abort the attack.
Speaking when he visited Konduga on Wednesday, Governor Shettima said: "Frankly speaking, officers and men of the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian police Force are doing their best, given the circumstances.
"But you and I know that the Boko Haram are better armed and better motivated but honestly, our security men on ground are putting in their best. There is the need for additional troops and additional support for the military. I am an eternal optimist; I hope and pray that very soon, the Federal Government will rise to the challenges of the day."
Hamza Idris, Yahaya Ibrahim, Kabiru R. Anwar and Turaki A. Hassan