About 150 widowed women and fatherless children yesterday confronted the Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima to give them back their breadwinners, insisting that no amount of cash compensation would ever be enough for the loss of their husbands and fathers. The women were once married to mainly policemen who were killed by the terrorists on Tuesday when they attacked Bama town in Borno State.
The women and children, who have been affected by the orgy of violence unleashed by Boko Haram insurgents, were displaced and with no place to lay their heads, also asked the governor to provide vehicles that will transport them and what was left of their property back to their respective home towns.
The protest from the women and children of the dead police officers came as the police area commander, ACP Sagir Abubakar cried out that some of his men were still missing including the District Police Officer (DPO) of the Bama police station that was burnt down by the insurgents on Tuesday.
Shettima had visited the town yesterday to assess the damage. The governor, who was almost moved to tears, could only give the displaced persons N5 million as a palliative before something substantial could be done for them by the state government.
The governor while appealing to the women and children who were gathered at the destroyed headquarters of the 33 Mobile Police Squad, which temporarily serves as their abode, was told by the women that since the people of the town had shown they are not welcome, vehicles should be provided to convey them to their home towns.
The women, who reluctantly accepted the cash gift from the governor, however, maintained that what they needed were their breadwinners and not a loaf of bread.
During the visit, the governor was visibly moved by three young boys who lost both parents during the massacre and immediately offered to adopt them and cater for their wellbeing.
Shettima, who left Bama with the three boys, also arrived the state capital, Maiduguri with about 20 persons, who were severely injured during the crisis. They were immediately sent to hospitals in the town for treatment.
Meanwhile, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) revealed that about 300 persons were internally displaced in the town as a result of the crisis, even as measures had been put in place to establish a camp to accommodate them.
Speaking to journalists on the humanitarian crisis, the Information Officer of the agency, Northeastern region, Abdulkareem Ibrahim told reporters that for the 300 internally displaced persons temporarily housed at the Mobile Police headquarters, the agency had provided food, beddings and household items.
He said an assessment team would be sent back to the camp today to set up a camp where the internally displaced persons will be settled.