President Muhammadu Buhari has described the reported massacre of villagers in Zamfara State by fleeing bandits as an act of desperation by mass murderers. About 200 villagers were reportedly buried yesterday following attacks of rural villages in Anka and Bukkuyum Local Government Areas of Zamfara State after attacks by the fleeing bandits.
The President, who restated the determination of his administration to make banditry and other criminalities history in the country, expressed outrage at the reports.
Reacting to reports of the large-scale killings, President Buhari 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 effectively confront these enemies of humanity.
“In keeping with my commitment to tackle 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 the air force are 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 people to the reign of terror, including illegal imposition of taxes on the communities under siege.”
Meanwhile, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has assured the people of the state that his government would trail and arrest bandits behind Tuesday’s and Thursday’s merciless killings of innocent people across seven villages in the state. Matawalle, who gave the assurance yesterday during sympathy and condolence visits to the Bukkuyum and Anka emirates, said the state government and security agencies had already mapped out formidable plans to ensure the killers were detected and brought to book.
With the recent Federal Government declaration of bandits as terrorists and the provisions to further strengthening our security operatives, the prevailing tie with the repented bandits as well, no banditry could gain space for breath anymore in the state.
“We are hoping to secure continuous unconditional release of kidnapped victims through ongoing onslaughts by the Security Operatives on identified bandits’ camps as well as blocking all possible exits for the fleeing criminals”,
Matawalle stressed. He earlier visited the affected villages in company of the State Commissioner of Police and the General Officer Commanding of the Nigerian Army in the state to commiserate and assess damages done to the victims.
Matawalle also visited the two monarchs of Anka, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmed Anka and of Bukkuyum, Alhaji Mohammed Usman in their separate palaces, urging them to continue giving due support as usual with a view to combat all criminal activities bedeviled the state to end. In their separate remarks, the emirs pledged unreserved support and continuous directives on their subjects for the timely report of any questionable movement and character to their village heads,
who will subsequently communicate to the nearest security establishment for prompt action.
The Emirs, who gave the Governor authentic list of villages attacked as Kurfa Dunya in Bukkuyum where 36 were killed and villages under Waramu district in Anka where 22 were also killed making 58, as well as presenting the list of victims that lost their lives, wondering the sources of reports by some media organizations which featured 68, 200 and up to 500 were killed.