Gunmen believed to be Boko Haram insurgents have reportedly taken the lives of 40 individuals in Gurokayeya village, located in Yobe State’s Gaidam Local Government Area.
According to The PUNCH, 20 of the victims were killed by the yet-to-be-identified gunmen on Monday, while the remaining 20 were killed by an explosive device which is believed to have been planted by the gunmen.
Also, while official sources state that the initial 20 victims fell victim to a reprisal attack, a reliable but anonymous source, suggested that their deaths may have been linked to their refusal to pay a “harvest tax” demanded by the gunmen.
“The insurgents stormed the village between 5pm and 6 pm, called out the residents, gathered them at the outskirts and opened fire on them.
“Over 17 people died on the spot on Monday. The other about 20 were among those who drove from Gaidam and neighbouring villages to the affected village for the burial of the first 20, on Tuesday,” the source stated.
He added, “When they were driving back home, their vehicle drove over an explosive planted by the insurgents; 10 died on the spot and about 10 died at the Gaidam Primary Health Care Centre, where they were rushed to after the accident.”
The incident has been confirmed by the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Dungus Abdulkarim.
“The gunmen stormed Gurokayaye village at around 11 pm on Monday, October 30, and opened fire, which resulted in the killing of the village head and between 17 and 20 others.
“Two of those who sustained severe injuries are now receiving treatment at the Gaidam PHC and two others are now at the Yobe State University Teaching Hospital, Damaturu.
“Around 7.30 pm on Tuesday, the people, who had converged on the village for the burial of those killed, drove over a landmine, and 20 people died as a result,” Abdulkarim revealed.
He described the village as a stronghold of Boko Haram insurgents, disclosing that troops have demarcated it as a ‘No-go area.’
He explained, “This is harvest time, and the insurgents are used to going around the farming communities, collecting Jizya (farm produce tax). Recently, they stormed the Tarmuwa axis of the state in this tax collection round.
“Following information revealed by the locals, security agents stormed the locality and engaged the unsuspecting insurgents in a serious gunfire exchange, as a result of which two of the gunmen were killed and four were arrested, as many escaped with gun wounds.”
“So, in reprisal, the gunmen descended on Gurokayaye village of Gaidam LGA where they killed the people I have just told you.”