19 February 2014

Nigeria: Insurgency - Reps Want Army Headquarters Relocated to Maiduguri

The House of Representatives yesterday passed a resolution calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately relocate the headquarters of the Nigerian Army to Maiduguri over the persistent attacks by insurgents.

The lawmakers said the relocation would enable the Chief of Army Staff to not only have a first-hand touch with the reality on ground but also the opportunity to devise ways of properly tackling the matter.

Similarly, the lower chamber urged the Federal Government to liaise with the governments of Chad, Niger Republic and Cameroon to discuss ways to tackle the activities of the insurgents around border areas. This is coming on the heels of Saturday's attack in Izge village in Gwoza local government of Borno where 133 people were reportedly killed by insurgents.

There were also reports of an attack in Doron Baga, close to the Lake Chad, in Kukawa local government area. The latest violence came less than a week after nine soldiers were killed at Izge, while dozens of other people lost their lives in similar attacks in Konduga, Borno State.

Adopting a motion moved by Rep Peter Biye Guntha (APC, Borno) yesterday, the House also called on the Nigerian military to provide additional personnel to strategic areas in some parts of the villages affected to strengthened security in the areas.

While commiserating with the people and government of Borno State over the killings, the House urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently provide relief materials to the affected victims.

Guntha in his motion expressed concern that apart from the people and the soldiers killed in Izge village, several others lost their lives in Gavva West and East local government, while 150 houses were burnt.

He said in Zalidva village, Sabon Gari, 14 people were killed, while 30 houses were destroyed previously which were not reported in the media.

Guntha said: "In Ngoshe town, 46 people were killed, while 30 houses were razed down; seven people were killed in Hambaged and about 140 cattle were taken away."

"In Chinene village, seven people were killed and also Krawa town, 20 people were slaughtered and 20 shops razed down. Emir of Gwoza's house at Jaje village was razed with property and food stuffs worth millions of Naira destroyed. Several houses in Juba village and places of worship were razed down with property worth millions of Naira destroyed," he said.

According to him, 10 people were also killed in Wala 'A' and three people in Wala 'B', adding that many cattle were taken away during an attack in the two villages.

"In Ndufa village, six deaths were recorded and 120 cattle taken away, while in Pulka town one person was killed and eight people were abducted. In Ngoshe Sama village, 18 people were killed and 80 houses were razed, and 150 cattle taken away. A total of about 120 places of worship were destroyed by the gunmen from December, 2013 to February, 2014, including churches and mosques," he added.

Contributing to the motion, Rep Mohammed Monguno (APC, Borno), said the insurgents appeared more equipped than the security men handling the crisis.

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