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PFN commiserates with Borno over massacre

By Chris Irekamba
05 December 2020   |   3:00 am
The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), led by Rev. Felix Omobude, has commiserated with the people of Borno State on the gruesome murder of over 43 rice farmers at Zabarmari in Jere Council by Boko Haram

Mourners attend the funeral of 43 farm workers in Zabarmari, about 20km from Maiduguri, Nigeria, on November 29, 2020 after they were killed by Boko Haram fighters in rice fields near the village of Koshobe on November 28, 2020. – The assailants tied up the agricultural workers and slit their throats in the village of Koshobe.<br />The victims were labourers from Sokoto state in northwest Nigeria, roughly 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) away, who had travelled to the northeast to find work. (Photo by Audu Marte / AFP)

Ekhomu Urges Robust Vigilance Force

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), led by Rev. Felix Omobude, has commiserated with the people of Borno State on the gruesome murder of over 43 rice farmers at Zabarmari in Jere Council by Boko Haram terrorists last week.

PFN described the massacre as a stark reminder of the deplorable level of security in the country, lamenting that under the present difficult economic circumstances, farmers in pursuit of their livelihood are murdered on their farmlands by terrorists in such horrific manner.

On his part, a security expert, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, advised the Borno State Government to immediately hire 10,000 Borno youths into a robust vigilance force to defend the state alongside the military, Police, paramilitary and the Civilian JTF, saying the absence of a capable guardian is what facilitated the recent massacre.

Ekhomu, who is President of the Association Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON), said noted that hiring the youth vigilance force would provide protection for the rural populations against incessant terror attacks, adding: “The Borno Vigilance Force, which should employ able-bodied youths who must receive musketry, martial arts, and security tactics training, would be willing to take the fight to the terrorists to defend their home state against the implacable jihadists.

“What the vigilance group lacks is superior firepower, it will make up for in manpower.”

Ekhomu said the vigilance force would act as force multipliers for the military and ensure greater security, stating that the killing of the rice farmers just 20 kilometres from Maiduguri showed that the entire state was unsafe.

PFN, in a statement, while commiserating with families of the victims, government, and people of Borno State, prayed to God to comfort and strengthen them in the face of years of insurgency and terrorist attacks.

It called on the Federal Government to decisively deal with the insecurity challenges across the country, adding: “President Muhammadu Buhari must step up to guarantee the security and safety of all the citizens of Nigeria, irrespective of their location, ethnicity or faith. 

“For a government that came into office on the back of a promise to prioritise security, the recent turn of events in the country, with banditry, kidnapping, and violence running riot, is sad and unfortunate.”

The body called urged the President to take suggestions put forward by stakeholders in proffering solutions to the chronic challenges of insecurity in the country.

It charged Christians to be more prayerful, as Yuletide season approaches, noting that this year’s Christmas “is of great significance to us, as Nigerians, as we thank God for His faithfulness, in spite of the challenges, especially with the pandemic.”

PFN appealed to churches to continue to comply with the advised protocols in the preparation and celebration of Christmas activities while ensuring that the significance of the season is not in any way diminished.