The Senate, on Wednesday, claimed that 357 Nigerians have been killed in 55 attacks carried out by Boko Haram insurgents since the beginning of 2017.
Senator Ali Ndume from Borno State, in a motion, revealed that Boko Haram members have made significant gains in the three northeastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe respectively.
Ndume, said 76 people have been killed by the terrorists in November, while 11 soldiers have also lost their lives within the same period.
He said of the 357 civilians that have died, 220 were killed between June and November, and that they died as a result of suicide bombings.
Ndume further revealed that 83 child suicide bombers have been used in 2017 alone by the terrorists. Out of the 83 child suicide bombers, he said 55 of them are girls and are under age 15. Only 27 young boys of the same age have been used for the same purpose by the insurgents.
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The senator told his colleagues that 14.8 million people have been affected by the crisis. He said the estimated cost of destruction is put at over $9 billion (N2.75 trillion).
He noted that 85 per cent of the destruction is in Borno. Up to 1.8 million people are Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), out of which more than 80 per cent are living in host communities, Ndume said.
He explained: “In the year 2017, more than 257 civilians were killed during 55 attacks in the North East. The deadliest month was in August, when the militant group killed 100 people, followed by November with 76 people killed already.
“Recently, 3 soldiers and a child were killed in Magumeri in Borno, several civilians were killed in Madagali in Adamawa, and eight soldiers were killed in Sasawa in Yone State.
“The cases of suicide bombing in Borno and recently in Mubi, Adamawa that killed 50 people and wounded several others continues to escalate. At least, 220 people were killed Since June as a result of suicide bombing.
“Over 83 child suicide bombers were used in 2017. This is four times as many child suicide bombers used in all of 2016. The United Nations agency said out of 83 children deployed by the atrocious insurgents, 55 were girls, mostly under 15 years old and 27 were boys. One was a baby strapped to a girl. Nineteen children were used last year according to UNICEF.”
“About 14.8 million people are affected by the crisis. The estimated cost of destruction is put at over $9 billion. About 80 per cent of the destruction is in Borno. Up to 1.8 million people are IDPs, out of which more than 80 per cent are living in host communities,” Ndume added.
The prayer sought by Ndume, that Service Chiefs be invited to brief the Senate in a closed door session on the worrisome state of security, did not scale through.
Instead, the issue was referred to Ahmad Lawan-led adhoc committee on Insecurity, to address the issues raised and report back to the Senate as soon as possible.
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