The Federal Government yesterday lamented that the activities of Boko Haram has damaged the country’s reputation.
It described the killing on Sunday of 44 people in Konduga, Borno State by people suspected to be Boko Haram members as “desperate and isolated.”
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged Boko Haram to cease further attacks.
“The Secretary-General strongly condemns the recent violent attacks that have killed scores of civilians in the localities of Mafa and Konduga in Borno state,” his spokesperson said in a Statement.
Mr. Ban called on all parties to resolve their differences through dialogue and other peaceful means.
“The Secretary-General reiterates his firm conviction that no objective can be attained through such violence,” the spokesperson stressed.
Britain said the attack is “contemptible and cowardly” in a statement by its Foreign Office Minister for Africa Mark Simmonds, it pledged to “stand with the government and people of Nigeria.”
Information Minister Labaran Maku said the spate of insecurity being perpetrated by the sect has slowed down the performance of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Maku, who spoke to reporters at the national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday, insisted that the insecurity is politically-instigated.
According to him, but for the insecurity in the land, the Jonathan administration would have made appreciable progress in terms of development in the various sectors.
“Boko Haram has damaged the reputation of Nigeria. A report of a bomb explosion makes more news globally than commissioning of projects. We have been doing well in an atmosphere of negative reports. This government is the most documented in the Nigeria history,” he said.
Maku said despite the constant threat of insecurity, the nation’s economy has improved.
He warned international agencies, particularly the International Monetary Fund (IMF) not to dictate to Nigeria, but should give advice where necessary.
Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima was all grief as he visited Konduga yesterday.
He was told by District Head Zannah Masu Yale that a woman was among the 43 killed. Thirty others, he
added were injured in the attack on people at a Mosque. He said 78 houses were burnt.
The traditional ruler urged the government to deploy more troops.
The governor, who cut short his trip out of the state, donated N5 million and four vehicles to boost the youth volunteers in Konduga in the fight against insurgency.
He also donated N250,000 each to families of the 43 dead and N50,000 each to the 36 injured victims who are also to be treated at government’s expense.
He also gave N50,000 for rehabilitation while houses burnt will be compensated according to the number of rooms.
According to him, the amount to be given for each of the burnt houses will be between N100,000 and N400,000.
Shettima, who was emotionally shaken by the level of damage, told the grief- stricken people who thronged the palace of the District Head in their hundreds that the State Government would always identify with them at all times.
“What happened to you is unfortunate and you understand that whatever happens to you directly affects us all and we identify with you at this hour of grief” he said.
He praised the gallantry efforts of the security operatives and the youth volunteers which led to the death of five of the insurgents and the recovery of arms, saying: “you made me proud by your commitment toward the restoration of peace in the State”.
Shettima inaugurated a Committee headed by the member representing Konduga in the House of Assembly to assess the level of damage and report back to government within the shortest possible time.
He also raised a committee made up of the chief Imam, the district head, caretaker chairman, leader of the civilian JTF among others to manage the compensation cash.
The governor commended the courage and perservarance of one of the victims, Mmalam Mairami Makinta, whose house was burnt.
He also pleaded with the Military Commander of the Joint Task Force (JTF) and the Police Commissioner to immediately deploy more troops to the Area to check against future occurence and equally implored the people to continue praying until peace is fully restored in the State and the Country as a whole.
Chairman of the Youth Volunteers in Konduga, Mallam Lawan Ajid, said,the deployment of more Military personnel would help in galvanising the youths to conduct their operations successfully and assured the governor that with the support of the government and the people, the youth volunteers would restore peace in the state in no distant time.
Interior Minister Abba Moro said the army is making progress in the war against Boko Haram militants, despite the Konduga killings.
Abba Moro dismissed the attack as “desperate” and “isolated”.
“The security agencies of Nigeria have been able to push the Boko Haram sect from their major strongholds,” he told the BBC..
Apart from Konduga, 12 others were killed at Ngom village, close to Maiduguri, according to reports.
Although Boko Haram has not commented on the Mosque attack, its leader Abubakar Shekau, said in a YouTube video on Monday that his group is responsible for the recent attacks including the one that targeted the police and the military.
He said this showed that the army’s claims to have inflicted heavy losses on the group were “lies”.