Chibok girls may be in bunkers, says governor
GOVERNOR Kasim Shettima of Borno State yesterday revealed that the Chibok girls may be living in bunkers inside the Sambisa forest, and called on the military to investigate this during their operations in the vast area.
Shettima who stated this in Abuja at a conference organised by the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD), said that his government believes that the bunkers existed because truck loads of building materials have been making their way into the Sambisa forest for quiet some time unhindered.
The governor who was represented by the Secretary of Borno Elders Forum, Dr. Bulama Mala Gubio, also said that the Boko Haram sect once built such a bunker in Maiduguri which held up to about 500 people.
“The military should investigate this claim. We suspect Boko Haram has built a lot of bunkers in the Sambisa forest.
We believe the Chibok girls are living in bunkers inside Sambisa forest. A lot of building materials have been taken inside the forest without hindrance,’’ he said. On the number of persons so far killed by insurgents in the North east, Shettima stated that the number is far greater than what is reported in the local and international media.
Against the report of 13,000 killed so far, he said the figure was more than 300,000,adding, people who were practically slaughtered were more than those who were gunned down. “This year alone, more than 70,000 people were killed before Boko Haram was knocked out. So far, more than 300,000 people have been killed. I lost 29 of my siblings. I buried them myself.
Any time I hear in the media that 13, 000 people were killed so far, if not that Islam forbids suicide I would have committed suicide”.
“The magnitude of atrocities committed by the Boko Haram sect is unprecedented in history.
Even Pharaoh did not slaughter people. So far over 900 schools have been destroyed in Borno State and 176 teachers have been killed. We keep rebuilding schools and Boko Haram members keep destroying the newly built ones,” he said. The governor also narrated the ordeal of the Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) in the three states under emergency rule.
He stated that Borno State spends N600 million monthly to sustain the displaced persons, while the Federal Government has only given the state N200 million to tackle the problem for six years.
Shettima noted that the state currently saddled with the problem of returning the IDPs to their communities because there is no source of water, no health centre, no schools and other basic amenities in such places. As for source of water, he reminded that the wells have been stuffed with bodies of executed victims of Boko Haram attacks.
He further recommended that a judicial commission be set up in the reconstruction process of the North east.