Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, has blamed the death of 43 rice farmers killed by Boko Haram in Zabarmari village of Borno State, on their failure to get military clearance before working on the field.

Shehu said this while speaking to the BBC on the tragic incident that occurred at the weekend.

Garba Shehu

“The truth has to be said. Was there any military clearance from the military who are in total control of the area? Did anybody ask to resume activity?” Shehu demanded.

The presidential media aide claimed that the farmers did not get the instruction of the Nigerian Army securing that territory before carrying out their farming activities, and as such left the military in the dark before the tragedy struck.

“So ideally, all of these places ought to probably be allowed to pass through proper military clearance before resettlement or even farmers resuming activities on those fields.

“People need to understand what it is like in the Lake Chad Basin area - a window that the terrorists have exploited,” he said.

The massacre of 43 farmers in Borno State at the weekend is one of many insecurity challenges that have continued to ravage the North-East region of the country.

Mr Shehu’s statement seems to reflect the alleged insensitivity of the Presidency to these worsening challenges that have spread to other parts of the country, including the recent kidnapping on the Abuja-Kaduna expressway.

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