by Segun Odeleye
If the statement by Musa Alhaji Bukar – a government official – to the BBC World Service is to be believed, then Boko Haram killed about 2000 people in its attack in Baga on Wednesday.
Bukar said that the town of Baga, which ordinarily has a population of up to 10,000 people “has been burnt down. It is virtually non-existent.” He said that presently, Boko Haram is in full control of Baga and 16 neighbouring towns.
According to Sen. Maina Lawal, who represents the zone in the senate, up to 70% of Borno state is now being controlled by the insurgents.
Most other reports put the number of dead from Wednesday’s attack in Baga in the hundreds after the terrorists engaged the Nigerian military in the town, overpowered them and took over the city.
Curiously, Nigeria’s Pres. Goodluck Jonathan has not issued a statement over the attack, even though he has found the time to condemn this week’s Islamists attack in faraway France.
There are reports of corpses littering the streets and bushes in Baga after the terrorists stormed the town, shooting indiscriminately and torching buildings.
According to Sen. Maina Lawal, “the indiscriminate killings went on and on and on.”
The senator said thousands of residents fled into Chad, and there are fears of a humanitarian crisis. Some people who attempted to cross over Lake Chad, reportedly drowned as well. Thousands more are fleeing to the state capital, Maiduguri, in buses provided by the state government.