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ZAMFARA KILLINGS: Emirs Cry for help, Governor Downplays Figures, Buhari Makes Usual Pledges

ZAMFARA KILLINGS: Emirs Cry for help, Governor Downplays Figures, Buhari Makes Usual Pledges

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday again pledged to stamp out terrorists in Nigeria, as he expressed outrage at the latest reports of killings in four villages of Zamfara State.

Buhari, in a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu, vowed for the umpteenth time 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, killing indiscriminately.

Residents claimed that about 200 people have been killed, but the Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle, said only 58 persons were killed.

Shehu’s statement on Saturday was titled, ‘President Buhari condemns the reported massacre of villagers by escaping bandits in Zamfara, vows no letup in military operations,’

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.”

Emirs Call for Help

Meanwhile, the emirs of Anka, Alhaji Attahir Ahmad, and that 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.”

Also 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.”

Governor underplays number of casualties

Zamfara State governor, Bello Muhammad Matawalle, expressed his condolences to the families whose members were killed by the rampaging terrorists, but argued that the number of casualties reported was exaggerated.

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.”

 

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Faruk Khalilhttps://nigeriansketch.com/
Khalil Faruk (Deputy Editor-in-Chief), has a Bachelors and Master's degree in Political Science and has worked as a reporter, features editor and Deputy Editor-in-Chief respectively in a leading Nigerian daily. He has undergone trainings in journalism, photo journalism and online journalism within and outside Nigeria.

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