Seven farmers were beheaded on Thursday in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, by suspected terrorists from the jihadist group Boko Haram.
The militants assaulted the farmers while they were working on a farm in the hamlet of Molai, which is just 5 kilometers from Maiduguri.
Former youth and sports commissioner Sainna Buba, who now oversees the safety and protection of nearby farmers, confirmed the killings to reporters.
The farmers, according to Mr. Buba, were buried on Friday morning following an Islamic funeral service.
One farmer was able to flee and raise an alarm despite being fired at, according to Abudulmumeen Bulama of the vigilante organization Civilian-JTF.
“We could only mobilise and reach the scene late on Thursday. Upon arrival, we were met with a horrifying sight: some victims had their throats slit from behind, while others were completely beheaded,” said Mr Bulama, as he struggled to hold back the tears welling in his eyes.
Farmers in the area said the killing has caused renewed concern for their safety.
“Despite our efforts to produce our food, safety in the bush remains a concern. It seems that not a day goes by without an attack on either farmers or lumberjacks,” expressed Bagoyin Adam, a farmer.
To support local farmers, the Borno State government recently launched a large-scale return-to-farm programme, providing around 300 tractor trucks on Tuesday.
The programme aims to improve food security and reduce dependency on food aid in an area heavily impacted by the ongoing insurgency.