By Wasiu Popoola
Not less than 100,000 persons have died in the violent insurgency waged waged by Boko Haram militant group in Nigeria, this was revealed today (Monday 13 february,2017) by Governor Kassim Shettima of North Eastern, Borno state .
“While it took South Africa’s apartheid 46 years to take 21,000 lives, it took Boko Haram only seven years to cause the murders of 100,000 lives of innocent people, largely women, children and old people in Nigeria,” Shetimma said in the capital city Abuja at a memorial lecture in honor of the country’s slain former military ruler Murtala Mohammed.
Apart from being Nigeria’s leader between 1975 and 1976, Murtala was also a hero of Africa’s liberation struggle in South Africa. His ‘Africa has come of age’ speech is among the mostly referenced in the African fight against colonialism. He was assassinated on February 13, 1976, some 200 days after he came to office through a bloodless coup.
Shetimma’s spokesman Isa Gusau said the death figure covers all casualties of the violence in Borno, the birthplace of the insurgency, and other states where the militants have struck in the past seven years.
The governor said the crisis festered because of official laxity and government initially believing conspiracy theories about the opposition or the Muslim-majority northern region being behind the militants to wrong foot the former president Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the southern region.
According to Shetimma, some 2,114,000 people have been displaced in the crisis as at December 2016, 54,911 widowed, while roughly 52,311 children have been orphaned and are unaccompanied in separate camps.