Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum and Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari has regretted that killings have worsened under President Muhammadu Buhari despite his promise to his people that should Buhari become president the killings would end.
This was as the governor lamented the failures of agencies in the country to prevent wanton killings in his state despite being alerted 24 hours ahead of an impending attack on communities in Zurmi Local Government Area of the state.
The attack that took place on Wednesday and Thursday in Birane village, Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State are said to have left no less than 74 persons dead.
However, the Police Command in Zamfara had claimed that 18 persons died in the attack, which according to him resulted in what appears as a reprisal attack against the villagers for intercepting a suspected cattle rustler.
However, the state governor who spoke on Friday evening when he led five northern governors on a sympathy visit to the palace of the Emir of Zurmi, regretted that the killings were happening at a heightened level despite his assurance that if Buhari is elected president wanton killings would cease.
He said, “Whatever was humanly possible that needed to be done, we as a government have done to mitigate this disaster. But it does appear that security agencies are failing in their responsibilities.
“I feel let down facing the people of this state whenever I remember the promise I made to them that if they elected President Muhammadu Buhari into power, these killings would end. But unfortunately, things are now getting worse.
“As such, I urge you security agencies to up the ante so as not to lose this war. If you let us put the matter in our hands, anarchy will reign, which is not what we hope for.
“On this particular incident, we had intelligence reports 24 hours before it happened that the bandits were grouping and ready to attack. I alerted the security agencies but unfortunately, they sent inadequate personnel to confront these people.”
In his comment, the Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, told the governors that for the bravery of vigilante groups who confronted the bandits, more people would have been killed.
According to Emir Abubakar, 600 bandits had attempted to invade Zurmi during the Thursday attack before they were repelled by vigilantes.
“They came on 200 motorcycles with three persons on each bike. Each of them was well-armed. We stationed 500 vigilante members who stood their ground and gallantly fought the bandits. Unfortunately, these same bandits turned their anger on travelers and other villagers on their way here; that was why we had 39 people killed.
“These terrorists are known to us. Their major hideout is in a village called Kagara, very close to Bafarawa in Sokoto State, and a few kilometers from Shinkafi in Zamfara State. But despite several appeals to security agencies to storm the area, our appeals have failed.
“I need to state here that majority of the weapons used by bad people in this country are brought in from this area. I had reason to personally inform Zamfara State’s Director of the Department of State Services sometime back of a large cache of weapons being brought into the country but no concrete action was taken until the containers were moved away.”
President Buhari, who has been seriously accused by even some members of his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), oppositions parties and civil societies of not doing enough to contain killings perpetrated by suspected Fulani herdsmen, on Friday sent the Minister of Defence, Brigadier-General Mansur Dan Ali (Rtd), to Zamfara to undertake an on-the-spot assessment of the situation and report back to him.
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