Governor Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe State is worried over the increasing number of people fleeing Damaturu, the state capital, following the precarious security in the state. He appealed to those still remaining to stay, and called on those who had left to come back home.
Only recently, during and after the month of Ramadan, over 30 people were shot dead by suspected terrorists in Damaturu.
Gaidam made the appeal during a ‘special broadcast’ to the people of Yobe on the effort by the state government and other security agencies to contain the insecurity in the state, particularly in Damaturu and Potiskum.
The governor lamented, “In spite of my earlier clarion call and additional efforts by the security operatives to bring the situation under control, people have continued to panic and flee Damaturu in their thousands making the state capital look like a ghost town.
“The fact that no real breach of the peace was witnessed during the Sallah festival and the days following it, in spite of rumours of an impending attack, has demonstrated that the rumours are as baseless and unfounded as the fears are imaginary and unrealistic. Circulation of such rumours could be the deliberate handiwork of miscreants through which they create a fertile environment to perpetrate their atrocities of plundering and looting of people’s properties in their absence as some reports have actually indicated.
"While we lament the loss of lives and property, means of livelihood of thousands and the curtailing of socio-economic activities and freedom of movement occasioned by the imposition of six-month state of emergency on some of our Local Government Areas, the mass exodus of people from Damaturu has further compounded the situation."
He further said that, in addition to these largely man-made calamities, the state recently also witnessed a spate of natural disasters in form of floods and down pours causing destruction of thousands of houses including some loss of lives in Gashua town.
Gaidam said, “As believers in God, we have no explanation for all these other than to take them as the manifestation of the divine scheme of test and trials as referred to in the Qur’an (2:155) which states that Individuals, groups, communities and nations must go through one form of trial or the other in the course of their lives...”