Boko Haram terrorists have beheaded seven farmers near Maiduguri, Borno State northeast Nigeria, just as the state government is trying to encourage people to return to the land.
The victims were working on their farms just five kilometres from Molai, a community on the outskirts of Maiduguri, when the attack occurred on Thursday, Jun 15.
Just days before the attack, the state government launched a campaign to encourage farmers to return to their fields after years of letting them go fallow because of the threat of violence.
Sainna Buba, a government official coordinating the farmers’ movement to their farms with other security operatives, confirmed the incident.
“It was a sad occurrence and a setback to us,” he said.
“We have just attended the funeral, and the corpses have been conveyed to the cemetery for burial.”
All seven victims had their heads removed, Buba confirmed.
According to Abudulmumeen Bulama, a local security personnel of the Civilian-JTF vigilance group, the attack was reported by one of the farmers who managed to escape, fleeing for his life as a rain of bullets was fired at him.
The killing of the seven farmers has sent shockwaves through the community, with many expressing their grief and concern for the safety of farmers in the area.
“We are not safe anymore; these attacks are becoming one too many, and the government needs to do something urgently,” said farmer Becky Koji.
The Borno State government launched a mass return-to-farm program on Tuesday, when it released about 300 tractor trucks to assist farmers in the area.
The program was aimed at improving food security and reducing dependency on food aid in the region, which the ongoing insurgency has heavily impacted.
The beheading of the seven farmers by Boko Haram is the latest in a series of attacks by the terrorist group in the region. The group has been responsible for the deaths of thousands of people and the displacement of millions of others in the past decade.
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