Nigeria: House Summons Buhari Over Zabarmari Massacre

Hundreds of residents mourned as they gathered to bury corpses of 43 farmers slaughtered in Zabarmari village, a rice-producing community located in Borno State
1 December 2020

The lawmakers want the president to brief them on the state of security in Borno State.

The House of Representatives has summoned President Muhammadu Buhari over the recent killing of 43 farmers in Zabarmari community in Borno State.

The lawmakers took the decision on Tuesday while adopting a motion of urgent national importance by Satomi Ahmed.

The attack on Saturday on mostly rice farmers in Zabarmari, a community in Jere Local Government Area, saw at least 43 farmers killed. More than a dozen more are missing.

The victims were buried on Sunday.

President Muhammadu Buhari condemned the attack in a Saturday night statement and sent a federal government delegation to Borno.

DIVIDED HOUSE

Members of the House were divided on Tuesday when their colleagues moved the motion to invite President Buhari to explain the security situation in the country.

The House became rowdy, forcing the lawmakers to go into an executive session.

Upon resumption from the session, Mr Ahmed was asked to move the motion again which was unanimously passed.

While moving the motion, Mr Ahmed explained how suspected Boko Haram terrorists tied up the farmers and slit their throats.

He said they consist of farmers from Zabarmari and others who travelled from other states to work on the farm.

He said the exact number of people killed in the incident was not yet known as over 43 dead bodies were recovered and buried, with six others were found with serious injuries and many more residents remained missing.

He urged the House to condemn killing of the unarmed farmers and observe a minute silence in honour of the victims.

He also prayed the House to urge the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on security in the North East and other parts of the country.

Adding his voice to the motion, another lawmaker from Borno State, Ahmadu Jaha, who is also a co-sponsor of the motion, raised a point of order saying that the president Must be summoned to brief the house.

While responding, the speaker who sympathised with the people of Borno State, said that inviting the president to the floor may not be the best way to go. He said there were other ways to engage.

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