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Five Days After, President Buhari Fails To Visit Zabarmari, Address Nation

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to visit Zabarmari, the community in Jere Local Government Area five days after the gruesome massacre of farmers and discovery of 78 bodies following an attack by Boko Haram insurgents.

On Sunday, the State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, attended the burial of the first set of bodies recovered after the Saturday attack.

The governor offered his condolences and provided financial assistance to families of the victims.

Former Governor Shettima and state officials in Zabarmari
Former Governor Shettima and state officials in Zabarmari

On Monday, Borno State Deputy Governor Umar Usman Kadafur and the former governor of the state Kashim Shettima led some National Assembly members and party leaders to Zabarmari.

On the same day, a Federal Government delegation led by the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, arrived in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to commiserate with the people.

On Tuesday, Edward Kallon, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, visited the burial ground of some of the victims and met community members.

Edward Kallon, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria at Zabarmari.
Edward Kallon, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria at Zabarmari.

“There is no word to describe how I feel after my visit to Zabarmari communities yesterday. It is with great sadness and indignation that I met the families of the victims of Saturday’s violent attack to extend my most sincere condolences on behalf of the United Nations,” Edward said in a tweet shared on Wednesday.

Many are wondering why the president with a fleet of aircraft at his disposal has not visited Borno to meet families to offer his condolences and reassure them of their safety and justice for the victims.

Neither has the president spared a few minutes to speak on national television or to the media to reassure Nigerians of his commitment to the protection of lives and property.

Bulama Bukarti, a security expert, in a Daily Trust column on Thursday, wrote that Buhari was missing in action.

“He didn’t fly to Maiduguri to attend the funeral and condole the grief-stricken community. He was too ‘busy’ to spare even five minutes of National Address to calm a devastated people and reassure a petrified nation.

“He couldn’t even call the Governor of Borno State, the Shehu of Borno and members of parliament representing the state to condole them. His silence was as loud as a bomb blast. Denying, downplaying and ignoring mass atrocities have now become a defining feature of the Buhari administration,” Bulama stated.

The Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) on Wednesday asked Buhari to resign, saying he had failed to secure Nigerians.

The NEF spokesman, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, made the call on Wednesday night in a live television programme.

He said it was disappointing that after over five years of being in office, Buhari still had not delivered on the promises he made to Nigerians when he was first elected in 2015.

The president is expected to honour the invitation of the House of Representatives over the recent killing in Borno.

The lawmakers decided on Tuesday to invite him while adopting a motion of urgent national importance sponsored by lawmakers from Borno State.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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