The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Presidency said that farmers who were slaughtered on a rice field in Zabarmari, Borno state over the weekend, should have obtained military clearance before resuming farming activities in the area.
Presidential Spokesperson, Garba Shehu stated this while speaking to BBC Newsday.
He said the federal government was sad about the tragic incident, but added that the “people need to understand what it is like in the Lake Chad Basin area.”
Shehu claimed that though much of the area which used to be under Boko Haram control have been liberated, there are still a number of spaces that have not been cleared for the return of villagers who have been displaced.
“The truth has to be said. Was there any military clearance from the military who are in total control of the area?” Mr. Shehu queried. “Did anybody ask to resume activity?”
Mr. Shehu emphasised that he had been briefed by military authorities that the villagers did not seek military advice before exposing themselves to “a window that the terrorists have exploited.”
“So ideally, all of these places ought to probably be allowed to pass through proper military clearance before resettlement or even farmers resuming activities on those fields,” he said.
Recall that media reported at least 43 rice farmers were beheaded by terrorists while working on their farms, subsequent reports placed the fatalities at about 110.