Posted by News Express | 31 May 2014 | 5,943 times
The Borno State Government in Nigeria’s troubled North-East has given the official account of how the Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Idrissa Timta, died yesterday after a convoy of royal fathers in which he was travelling was attacked by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.
Initial reports yesterday afternoon, including by News Express, had it that Alhaji Timta and the Emir of Uba, Ismaila Mamza, had been kidnapped by Boko Haram on their way to attend the funeral of their deceased colleague, the Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Shehu Abubakar.
It, however, emerged that Alhaji Timta had, in fact, died and was not kidnapped as reported. A statement issued later yesterday in Maiduguri and signed by the Secretary to the Borno State Government, Ambassador Baba Ahmed Jidda, said: “The Borno State Government regrets to announce the unfortunate murder of His Royal Highness, the Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Idrissa Timta. The Emir was killed around 9am today following a bloody attack by some gunmen believed to be members of the Boko Haram along Tashan Alade on the way to Biu town, headquarters of Biu Local Government Area in Southern Borno State.”
Describing Alhaji Timta as “a great man who worked very hard to promote peace and progress in Gwoza,” the statement added: “Borno State Government is terribly shocked by this incident. The Government prays that Allah admit the late Emir into aljanna Firadaus and give family, members of the Gwoza Emirate Council, the people of Gwoza, the State Council of Chiefs and the entire people of Borno State the fortitude to bear this very traumatic loss especially at a time the State is still dealing with equally disturbing issues related with security challenges in the State.”
Another statement issued in Abuja by the Director of Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, said: “Troops deployed in Garkida responded to the attack. The emirs of Uba and Askira were secured while the body of Emir of Gwoza who died in the attack has been recovered. Troops are currently on aggressive patrols along the entire route with a view to apprehending the perpetrators and keeping the area safe.”
The reports contradicted another one in Daily Trust, which quoted reliable sources as saying that Alhaji Timta and his Uba counterpart, Alhaji Ismaila Mamza, escaped into the bush during the attack and that Timta later died of heart attack as a result of the shocking incident.
Alhaji Timta succeeded his father, the late Alhaji Idrisa Timta, as a second-class chief in the early 1980s.
“The Emir of Gwoza was not the first in the royal family of Gwoza to be counted amongst the casualties of the Boko Haram conflict. One of his sons, who was the district head of Takumbari, was also killed last year by the Boko Haram terrorists,” reports LEADERSHIP.
The paper recalls that the late emir’s last contact with the media was via his recent SOS letter which he wrote to all security chiefs in the country as well as the federal government decrying the incessant attacks and killings his people suffered in the hands of the terrorists. Alhaji Timta in the SOS implored the federal government to, as a matter of urgency, deploy more troops to protect the lives of his people whom he may risk losing if they all flee to Cameroon.
He stated in the SOS letter: “Sincerely speaking, my people, including the traders and other businessmen and women, have been prevented from travelling to Maiduguri to buy industrial and household goods for sale to customers in my chiefdom with an estimated population of 655, 000 in 11 wards and other border communities with Cameroon.
“Besides that, there is no blessed day the Boko Haram gunmen will not kill 7 -15 residents on these three roads that had already been blocked and taken over by insurgents. My people have been prevented from going to work on their farmlands last year; and even the limited cultivated farmlands with harvests, including my 350-hectre farmlands and orchards at Jaje village, were seized by the insurgents last October… Therefore, I am pleading, and will continue to plead to the Military, Police and other Security Agencies in the state to take emergency action on the three blocked and taken-over roads in Gwoza council area. If my people flee to Cameroon, leaving me alone in this palace, who will I rule, as their traditional and religious leader in this chiefdom?”
•Photo shows late Emir of Gwoza, Alhaji Idrissa Timta.
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