By Sadiq Abubakar
At least 56 people were killed yesterday when five churches, including COCIN, EYN and Deeper Life Bible Church, in Kwada village, about 10 kilometres away from Chibok town in Borno state were attacked and set ablaze by suspected members of Boko Haram.
The insurgents, residents said, attacked the churches at a time worshippers were in for the Sunday worship.
A resident, Malam Yaji, told journalists on phone in Maiduguri: “They killed some people and burnt some houses after attacking worshippers in the five churches in Kwada, and advanced to Kautikari village which is less than eight kilometres away from Chibok town, killing and burning people’s houses and property.
“At present, we do not know what the security operatives are doing, whether they are on ground or not, but all our people, those who can flee have run into the bush and are still being pursued by the murderers.”
Blueprint gathered that most Chibok town residents had fled their homes following the news of the attacks in Kwada and Kautikari.
It would be recalled that a few weeks ago, there was panic in Chibok local government area, following a letter purportedly written by Boko Haram to the people informing them of their plan to attack the area again.
A top Chibok local government council official, who did not want his name mentioned in print, disclosed this to newsmen yesterday in Maiduguri.
He said when they contacted the police informing them of the letter, they were assured of maximum protection, but later the same police complained of lack of fuel in their vehicle for patrol as no one is allowed to sell fuel in black market rates for fear that the insurgents might use it to burn houses.
He also said the Chibok local government council had assured the security operatives in the area that they would buy fuel for them in addition to the plea for more reinforcement as the number of security operatives in the area would certainly not be enough.
He said: “Whenever Boko Haram tells you that they are coming, they never fail to come. Our fear now is that we don’t know when and how they are going to come, but our people are living in great fear. We are calling for prayers as well as government to provide adequate security in Chibok.”
Also speaking yesterday, a police officer, Peter Maina, said he was called out from during Sunday service in Maiduguri only to be informed that his brother was killed at Kwada when the insurgents attacked the village.
He said the Chibok community could not hold back their tears even as the churches in Maiduguri broke into a session of prayers for God’s intervention after receiving the news of the attacks.