On Monday, the Defence Headquarters criticized a report by the United Nations stating that 110 farmers were killed by Boko Haram on Saturday while they were working at their respective farms in the Jere Local Government Area of Borno State.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, came out to disclose that just 43 corpses were seen at the scene of the incident in the Zabarmari area of the northeast state.
According to reports, the terrorists were reported to have tied up the farmers, who were working on rice fields, before slitting their throats.
He said, “I knew it (the issue) is going to come up particularly because it is coming from the United Nations and not a source that does not want to be identified. This is a source that has identified itself that a 110 specifically (were murdered).”
Enenche, however, spelt out that he contacted the field commandants and “they gave me a synopsis of what happened. When the governor was to go (to the scene) and after they had recovered the dead, the troops had to move in there and they counted 43.”
“Of course, some people ran into the bush and they started coming back and trickling in.
“As at 2pm yesterday (Sunday), I called them and they got back to me at about 7pm yesterday, still counting, looking if they will recover (more corpses). We call it Exploitation after Action Review.”
The Coordinator of the DHQ however stated that the search for the corpses of the other victims is still on going but he confirmed that only 43 corpses can be accounted for at the scene currently.
“Probably we may count up to the figure he (Kallon) gave in the future but as it is now, what we have counted with the locals is still 43 and we are hoping that we don’t get beyond that.”
“This is the real situation. I did not sleep, we had to follow it because this is very relevant coming from the United Nations.”
The massacre of the rice farmers, who were buried yesterday, has attracted strong international and national condemnations with some Nigerians calling on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to sack the country’s service chiefs and overhaul the security architecture of Nigeria.