Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Five persons were killed and four others injured on Saturday morning as suicide bombers made unsuccessful attacks on troubled Maiduguri, Borno State capital.
The residents of the troubled town, the birthplace of Boko Haram, were already in panic as there has been a surge in suicide attacks, traced to the terrorist group, in recent times.
During the week in suicide attacks by four persons on an outskirts of the town, 18 persons were killed on the spot while 29 others sustained injuries.
The panic in the town was heightened at the weekend as a text message was circulated round, claimed that many spot targets are being targeted for attacks in the latest security breach on the Northeast state, which has been under terrorist attack in the last six years.
The text message in circulation read: â€œAn information received from the Army intelligence that the Boko Haram suicide bombers are trying to attack NGOsâ€™ vehicles, clinics, mosques, markets, churches, and all gathering places.
â€œTherefore people should be vigilant on their movement. Please share this info with other NGOs actors. The source is from arrested Boko Haram boko yesterday (Friday) night along Gubio road.â€
Confirming the suicide attacks on the town, the spokesman of the Police in Borno State, Victor Isuku, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, in a statement said: â€œIn the wee hours of today 18/11/2017, two female suicide bombers detonated their IED vest in the outskirt of Alakaramtii village in Jere local government area, killing themselves alone.
â€œThen at about 0650hrs, two other teenage female suicide bombers infiltrated Alakaramtii village. One of them hurriedly detonated her IED vest killing herself, her partner and an innocent boy. While four others including the mother of the innocent boy, sustained injuries.â€
He added that: â€œThe corpses and the injured have been evacuated to University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.
Isuku said: â€œThe police EOD team promptly rendered safe the unexploded IED vests and sanitised the area. Normalcy has since been restored to the area.â€
Meanwhile, in order to combat acute malnutrition, which as a result of ongoing insurgency in the North East, had claimed scores of lives, chicken and eggs have been donated to victims of Boko Haram in Borno State.
Making the donation of 5,000 Noiler birds and 2,500 crates of eggs to the rural indigents, widows and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Maiduguri at a recent occasion witnessed by the Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima and representative of Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (Audu Ogheh), Dr. Bukar Hassan, was the Group Managing Director, natnud0 Foods, a subsidiary of Amo Farms Sieberer Hatchery Limited, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan.
Oduntan said the donation was made to combat high malnutrition rate, infant mortality and lower brain development.
He said this was out of the companyâ€™s goodwill in support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Borno State Governmentâ€™s effort to save the people in the region from untimely deaths resulting from deficiency of protein in their daily food consumption, and to also create sources of income for the women in the rural areas.
He said: â€œBoth birds and eggs, which are the best sources of protein, would substitute for the nutrition deficiency in their foods.â€
He lamented that â€œthe people died not because they were not fed, but because their foods only contained high level of carbohydrates without protein.â€
He said: â€œIt was reported that not less than 2,300 children below the age of five die annually in Nigeria due to lack of nutrition. It was also projected that about 5.2 million people were expected to be seriously affected by malnutrition against the 4.7 million currently affected in North East.â€
He added that: â€œHaving noticed that the country records more infant mortality rate as well as high death rate among the pregnant women in the rural areas especially among the internally displaced persons, we embarked on a research and came out with the Noiler specie that could be reared without any stress.â€
The Minister of agriculture and rural development said the donation of the items to the IDPs would go a long way to reduce the suffering of the affected people. He also commended the company on its new research in poultry sector, describing it as what the country needed at the present time to develop the agricultural sector.
The Borno Governor, on his part, said natnud0 has done greatly not only to provide protein for the malnourished people but also empowered the people through its laudable research in agricultural sector and alleviate poverty in the country.