Nigerian Governors Forum, Others React to the Zabarmari Massacre

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Nigerian Governors Forum: Security challenges are beyond military

…We are all frustrated, Fayemi declares

The Nigerian Governor’s Forum Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi disclosed that the security challenges are beyond the Nigerian military, He said, they are overwhelmed and cannot tackle the security situation affecting many parts of the country, that includes, Insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery.

“We are here your Excellency, first to express our condolences to the families and loved ones of our lost citizens, and also to the good people of Borno State, and yourself as the leader of our people here.”

“But what happened in the last three days is by far beyond any imagination, it was a massacre and it was one that none of us could come to terms easily.”

“I know there is an element of fatigue that will crip into this, everytime this happens we never let you rest on your phones expressing sympathise, we come here as delegation, you speak to us about your genuine believe on what could help us tackle this challenge that is depleting our country and we pledge to take steps to engage the leadership of our country. So there is very little we can say to you now that we haven’t said before as your brothers.”

“There is nothing new that you haven’t told us, that you haven’t told the delegation from Mr. President yesterday. We have all heard directly from you, your 6 point agenda, we have read it and you have just expressed to us in our private conversation. All I can say to you sir, is that we fully and wholeheartedly endorsed every single point on that agenda.”

“The reality we can all say, I personally as security scholar, the reality I can see is that our military is overwhelmed. Our military is no longer in a position to single-handedly tackle this menace effectively. It is not a criticism of our military, if one were to suggest a coalition beyond that will even include our neighbouring countries who are probably more experienced in fighting asymmetrical war. It will not be a lost of our pride as a country, if that were to happen and this certainly something that we as your colleagues and brothers will put before Mr. President.” Governor Fayemi said.

Governor Fayemi made the statement in Maiduguri, when they paid a visit to Governor Babagana Umara Zulum to condole with the government and people of Borno over an attack by the Boko Haram insurgents, where over 40 farmers were slaughtered.

He was accompanied by the Governor of Sokoto and the Vice Chairman of the Forum, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, and that of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello.

The Governor also stated that their visit to Borno is an expression of their frustration for not being able to despite many attempts make any meaningful development in the security problems facing the country.

“This not a visit to gratify ourselves that we have come to you, no, it is an expression of also our own frustration that we have not been able, because we have held series of meetings, you have been present at these meetings, some with Mr. President, meetings with security chiefs, we have highlighted all the issues, you have spoken, frankly on all those occasions, but we are still where we are.”

“We can’t bring back the people we have lost in the last couple of days, but if we do not take the necessary steps the entire nation will be consumed by this insurgency,” Fayemi added.

He noted that despite all the Nigerian Governor’s Forum will continue to support the government of Borno in engaging appropriate authorities to find solutions to the insecurity.

“We need to stand solidly with you, assist in whatever way you want us to, ensuring that our government takes the right position in order to tackle this problem. I want to assure you that we shall not relent as your brothers in conveying this to the appropriate authorities.” Gov. Fayemi said.

The Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum who was adversely disturbed by the recent gruesome attack on farmers have decried the continuous attack on innocent people.

“We need to address the underlying causes of the insurgency while appreciating the effort of the federal government in implementing some policies that are geared towards addressing poverty in the entire nation, Borno State deserves more.”

“We have said all, there is nothing new that I can say. But when shall we end this insurgency, that’s something very important.” Zulum said.

Zulum also expressed appreciation for all the members of the Nigerian Governor’s Forum for their support to Borno in time of its needs. He also thanked them for the visit.


Once again, the nation is united in grief as we mourn the macabre murder of many innocent Nigerians, by the Boko Haram insurgents. Though the victims lived in Zabarmari town, the attack, no doubt the most horrendous in recent times, was said to have taken place at Koshebe Village of Mafa Local Government Area, about twenty-five minutes’ drive from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

More than ever before, the world is aghast at the sheer bestiality visited on these hapless citizens and the psyche of Nigerians; prompting the United Nations to issue a very emotional riposte, to the incident.

The Government and people of Bauchi State deprecate, in the strongest terms, this blood-chilling barbarity, an affront to the Government and people of Nigeria and a challenge to our national resolve and capacity, to guarantee the safety of lives and property, of both Nigerian citizens and residents.

We feel the pains of the inhabitants of this breadbasket that has been turned into a killing field. It is indeed a painful irony, that the farmers were slaughtered while engaging in the legitimate effort not only to feed their families but to contribute to national development. This indeed is one massacre too many.

The spectacle of Governor Babagana Zulum at the funeral of the 43 recovered victims, as the awestricken people watched in anguish, is a constant reminder that eternal vigilance is the price we have to pay for our freedom.

Our hearts go out to the traumatised families of the victims and the Government and good people of Borno State. We also commiserate with the President and Commander-in-Chief who, despite all efforts so far, has had to carry the brunt of this senseless insurgency that has dislocated life in North-East Nigeria with a Domino-like effect on the entire country.

As tempting as it is, we believe that this is not a time for blame game or name-calling. Rather, the moment calls for sober reflection, for a closing of ranks by the political and military elite as well as other stakeholders, to work out a solution to this protracted destabilising insurgency.

It is also with every sense of responsibility that we want to place on record our view that the security challenges plaguing the entire country, demand a complete overhaul of the prevailing national security architecture so that the gaps in intelligence gathering, human capacity, and firepower, can be sufficiently ameliorated.

Once again, on behalf of the Government and people of Bauchi State, His Excellency, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed condoles with His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and  Governor Babagana Umara Zulum and the Government and people of Borno State, particularly the Zabarmari constituency who lost loved ones in this show of shame.

We pray for the peaceful repose of the souls of the victims of the “Zabarmari” massacre and entrust members of the bereaved families, to God’s protection and succour.

Mukhtar Gidado
Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor.

30th November, 2020

I commiserate with you, My Brother Governor, and the entire people of Borno state over the brutal and senseless massacre of farmers in Zabarmari on Sunday. On behalf of my entire Senatorial Constituency, and indeed all right-thinking people, I condemn this ungodly and barbaric waste of precious human lives, targeting a vulnerable segment of our population. There are not enough words to convey the weight of my heart-felt grief over this dastardly and cowardly act meant to sow fear and confusion in the minds of the people of Borno State.

Please remain courageous in the face of this tragic situation that has happened despite all your commendable efforts to restore normal life and protect ungoverned spaces in the State. Your efforts have not been in vain. Despite setbacks like this mindless slaughter of Zabarmari Villagers, you have registered your footprint as a courageous and visionary peacetime administrator destined to transform Borno State from the hopelessness of insurgency to a new dawn of peace, development, and prosperity.

To the departed, I pray the Almighty to forgive their shortcomings and grant them Aljannah Firdausi.

To those who lost their loved ones, I pray to ALMIGHTY ALLAH to grant them the fortitude to restart their lives and replace their hopelessness with hope

To farmers, rural dwellers, and the Brave People of Borno State who have lost counterparts and companions in this tragic incident, I urge forbearance and fortitude.

To each one of us who has lost a piece of our Humanity in this horrific and despicable act, I pray for Quick Recovery and Resilience to carry on with daily life. I also urge ALL to remain security conscious at all times and to partner with the various Governments and Security Agencies to better protect us and our neighbourhoods.

Your Excellency, please, accept the assurances of my highest esteem, always.

DECEMBER 1, 2020

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