The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Saturday expressed outrage at the latest reports of killings in four villages of Zamfara State by bandits, who have now been designated as terrorists.FILE – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is seen during a visit to the Maimalari Barracks in Maiduguri on June 17, 2021. (Photo by Audu Marte / AFP) (Photo by AUDU MARTE/AFP via Getty Images)
This was as the two emirs in the affected communities pleaded for deployment of more troops to the region.
Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, vowed that his regime would “smoke out and destroy these outlaws who have no regard for the sanctity of life.”
The terrorists, who were reportedly fleeing Zamfara State in their large numbers following heavy military onslaught, had descended on Rafin Danya, Barayar Zaki, Rafin Gero and Kurfa villages in the Anka and Bukkuyum local government areas of state.
Residents said the terrorists descended on the villages, killing and burning houses after vigilantes engaged them in a gun battle, as they were trying to flee the state with no fewer than 3,000 cattle.
Residents had put the casualty figure at over 200, but the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, said only 58 persons were killed.
Shehu’s statement on Saturday, titled, ‘President Buhari condemns the reported massacre of villagers by escaping bandits in Zamfara, vows no letup in military operations,’ quoted the President as describing the attacks as an act of desperation by the terrorists.
He said, “The latest attacks on innocent people by the bandits is an act of desperation by mass murderers, now under relentless pressure from our military forces who are well-equipped to confront these enemies of humanity effectively.
“In keeping with my commitment to tackling the monster of terrorism head-on, let me reassure these besieged communities and other Nigerians that this government will not abandon them to their fate because we are more than ever determined to get rid of these outlaws.
“These criminals will be history because we are not going to relent in our current military operations to get rid of these thugs who have been terrorising innocent people.”
Buhari appealed to the affected communities for patience, saying, “we are fiercely determined to smoke out and destroy these outlaws who have no regard for the sanctity of life.”
While extending his sympathy to the survivors and families of those killed, the President said that the army and air force were working together to get rid of “these callous criminals” as they acquire more equipment to track down and eliminate criminal gangs that are subjecting innocent Nigerians to the reign of terror, including the illegal imposition of taxes on the communities under siege.
But the Emir of Anka, Alhaji Attahir Ahmad, and the Emir of Bukkuyun, Alhaji Muhammad Usman, who spoke during the visit of Zamfara State Governor, Matawalle, to the attacked communities, appealed for deployment of more security agents in the area in order to checkmate reoccurrence of terrorists’ attacks in the area.
The Emir of Anka said, “The record we have indicated that 22 persons lost their lives in the attack, while four villages were burnt down by the bandits.
“We are in need of additional security personnel to this area; as such, we are appealing to the Federal Government to consider the deployment of more military personnel to the area.”
Similarly speaking, the Emir of Bukkuyum, who gave the number of people killed by the terrorists in his domain as 36, said, “We are appealing to the Federal Government to look into the possibility of deploying additional security personnel to this area.
“The number of the security personnel we have here is grossly inadequate and cannot effectively control the banditry activities in the area considering the influx of armed bandits in the area.”
Casualty figure exaggerated, says Matawalle
Addressing newsmen after his visit to the attacked communities alongside the Commissioner of Police and the General Officer Commanding, the Nigerian Army in the state, Matawalle expressed his condolences to the families whose members were killed by the rampaging terrorists.
He said, “We were shocked on hearing about these killings and we will work tirelessly with the Federal Government for more serious actions to end this ugly act.
“The state government will provide necessary support for the rebuilding of the destroyed villages. The state government has completed arrangements to provide funds for the reconstruction of the villages destroyed by bandits.”
A statement by the governor’s Special Adviser on Media, Zailani Bappa, also quoted him as decrying “the noticeable slide in factual reportage by the media who have variously quoted scary figures of deaths arising from the recent attacks by feeing bandits.”
He said, “The correct figure stood at 58 lives lost. The Emir of Anka gave a list of 22 deaths while the Emir of Bukkuyum gave a list of 36 victims.
“This is against the various figures ranging from 200 to 500 deaths and 11 villages attacked in the media.
“Both the governor and the two Emirs called on online media and the social media to always verify the facts instead of scaring the public for whatever reason.
“It is also obvious that my administration is not only threatened by bandits in the bush but also political bandits in our towns and villages.
“These are those politicians who manipulate the crisis for political gains and the informants who aid the bandits in their nefarious activities.
“But we shall conquer all by the strength of the Almighty Allah.
“We cannot fold our arms and allow people to always create panic and paint gorier picture of actual happenings in the state. There is no justification for anyone to wish us deeper trouble than where our people are today.”
We need divine intervention, says Buhari
However, speaking through the Minister of State for Agriculture, Mustapha Shehuri, on Saturday in Kano at the National Prayer Session for Nigeria organised by the Kano State Government, Buhari said divine intervention was needed to overcome insecurity challenges confronting Nigeria.
He said his regime was not resting on its oars regarding giving the necessary support, in terms of equipment and welfare, to the nation’s security agencies.
“Despite the support, there is a need to seek divine intervention for the Almighty to bring an end to the challenges,” the President said.
“No doubt, Nigeria is facing security challenges and we are doing our best to support the security personnel. That does not mean we should not seek divine intervention. This prayer session is part of the interventions and I commend the state governor for this,” he added.
PDP, CAN slam President
But the opposition Peoples Democratic Party and the Christian Association of Nigeria knocked Buhari, saying his regime hadn’t lived up to the promise he made in his New Year message to pay more attention to the security of lives and properties of Nigerians.
In a condolence message by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, to the victims of the Zamfara attacks the PDP said Buhari only made promises he never intended to keep.
The opposition party said, “Between January and December 2021, about 9, 196 people were killed, 3, 857 Nigerians were kidnapped. Of these, about 70 per cent of the victims are from the North including the President’s home state of Katsina where the governor has asked citizens to buy arms to protect themselves. This is an admission of failure.
“It is sad that this is what Nigerians now face daily. We commiserate with the victims. The Buhari government lacks the capacity to do anything. There are terror apologists in the APC and the government knows them. In 2015, they imported foreign terrorists into the country for the purpose of gaining power.”
Similarly, the Vice-President of CAN, Rev. Joseph Hayab, “Governance has fallen in many states today in northern Nigeria and the Federal Government needs to do something urgently before the worst will happen.
“Sadly, the body language of Mr President and those surrounding him does not show they care and expecting them to declare a state of emergency is a wasted appeal because nothing about them shows they care.”
We must find lasting solution to insecurity – Saraki
A former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, while condemning the Zamfara attacks, said there was a need to find a lasting solution.
Saraki, in his condolence message, said, “My heart goes out to the families and communities that have experienced the tragic loss and injury of loved ones, the destruction of their property, and the interruption of their livelihoods.
“It is my prayer that with lasting peace and determined leadership, a place like Anka can one day become one of the highest income per capita communities in Nigeria. However, for this to happen, we must be decisive, thorough, and relentless about securing the lives and property of all Nigerians.” ,, AdChoices
YOU MAY LIKE
- This Nano Technology Monoscope Allows…UltraZoom NanoTechnology
- How to Reduce Your Electric Bill by Up to…eSaver
- The most efficient electric racket to…Lightning Racket
UN issues Nigeria 2050 climate draft The PunchMali: West African leaders agree on sanctions after coup DWThis will be South Sudan’s hungriest year ever, experts say Associated PressReport: About 200 killed in Nigeria Reuters
- Photos100 photos of the world’s amazing abandoned placesAd Love Exploring
African leaders to discuss Mali crisis AFPThe football festival in the shadow of a rebellionA group of would-be footballers sweat and shine in their kickabout in the late afternoon heat, their boots spraying up little clouds of dust as they run. They play a stone’s throw away from the mesmerising waves of the Atlantic Ocean, and in the shadow of the triangular peak of Mount Cameroon. They are palpably excited that their town, Limbé, is ho… BBC NewsWHO: Nigeria causing vaccine-derived poliovirus spread to neighbouring countriesThe World Health Organisation has expressed concerns over the possible outbreak of the vaccine-derived poliovirus, also known as CVDPV2, and is also concerned about the poor quality of supplementary immunisation activities conducted to date and routine immunisation, and urged the country to focus its efforts to address these two factors. This is as… The PunchCovid-19: Nigeria faces challenges The Punch
Several Ethiopia leaders freed AFPAid workers say Ethiopia air strike in northwest Tigray killed 56 people ReutersS Africa: Planned auction of key to Mandela’s prison cell halted Al JazeeraUN backs access to aid in EthiopiaWASHINGTON (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that he looks forward to improvement in humanitarian access to all areas affected by the conflict in Ethiopia, as he welcomed the release of numerous detainees, including opposition figures, in the country. “Following my last contact with Prime Minister Abiy A… ReutersGunmen kill 30 in Nigeria’s ZamfaraMAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) – Armed bandits have killed at least 30 people in Nigeria’s Zamfara State, raiding several villages in a region that has been in a security crisis for more than two years, residents and security sources said on Friday. There have been a series of attacks in northwest Nigeria, which has seen a sharp rise in mass abduct… ReutersWang Yi : China Africa’s true friend N.C.N. LimitedUNSC to meet on Sudan AFPAfrica Cup of Nations throws up jab dilemma AFPNigerians worry over scarce lower denomination naira notesAS Nigerians groan over the shortage of lower denomination naira notes mostly used for economic transactions among the masses, experts have attributed the shortage to high cost of printing the notes and the currency’s loss of value. The Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE), Muda Yussuf, said it was inflatio… Nigerian TribuneNigeria gets 501,600 AstraZeneca vaccine doses from FranceThe National Primary Health Care Development Agency has received 501,600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility as donations from the Government of France to Nigeria. The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib, while receiving the vaccine on Friday at the National Strategic Cold Store, Abuja, said Nigeria was among the African … The PunchNigeria villagers recount ordeal The PunchGhana: Anti-Cocoa Smuggling Taskforce busts two smugglers Ghana News Agency (GNA)Nigeria may lose vaccine donations The PunchCovid-19 severely affects Zimbabwe’s tourism sector The StandardEthiopia: Amnesty given to detainees NewsweekUPDATE 1-Denmark frees three suspected Nigerian pirates at sea, detains fourth ReutersBuhari vows full support for MaliPresident Muhammadu Buhari has promised that Nigeria will do its best for the sister country, Mali, within the requirements of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). He made the pledge on Thursday when he received a Special Envoy from Colonel Assimi Goita, the Transitional President of Mali, Colonel Abdoulaye Maiga, Mali’s Minister… Nigerian TribuneOkene Local Govt chairman declares war against drug abuse, criminalityThe acting chairperson of Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State, Bilkisu Avosuahi Aliyu, has declared war against drugs abuse and criminality in the council. Aliyu said the council took the step so as to curb illicit and unlawful usage of drugs in Okene Local Government Area. “it is believed that the menace of drugs abuse has led to various cri… Nigerian TribuneHow Uhuru, Raila outfoxed Ruto on the coalitions BillNumerical strength, reaching out to third parties and building consensus on contentious clauses are some of the strategies that facilitated the passage of the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill by the National Assembly. Allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga had to go back to the drawing board after coming up against fierce … Daily Nation
Zimbabwe lifts two year ban on by-electionsZimbabwe has lifted a 2020 ban on by-elections, paving the way for what observers say will be a mini-general election on March 26. President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday announced the dates for the long awaited polls to fill at least 28 vacant parliamentary seats and 105 local government positions. The government banned by-elections in October 20… The East AfricanKenya starvation risk goes high Business DailyFeedback