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Nigerian govt summons Burkina Faso ambassador over killing of Nigerian pilgrims



The Nigerian government has summoned the Burkina Faso ambassador to Nigeria, Pascal Gouba, over the killing of 16 Nigerian pilgrims by gunmen in Kaolak, Senegal, last month.

The Nigerian pilgrims who were members of the Jam’iyyatu Ansariddeen Attijaniyya sect, were said to be travelling in a convoy of mini-buses on their way to a pilgrimage in Kaolak, Senegal, when they were flagged down by the gunmen wearing uniforms of Burkinabe soldiers.

According to the report, the passengers were asked to disembark from the vehicles, randomly selected and summarily shot to death.

While the Burkina Faso military junta has debunked reports that the attackers were their soldiers, the Nigerian government had vowed to go after the killers of its citizens even if it had to breach the territorial integrity of the West African neighbours.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, in a statement on Thursday issued by his Special Adviser on Media, HMOS, Ibrahim Aliyu, said the Burkina Faso envoy was summoned to “explain in detail what really happened when these 16 Nigerians were brutally killed allegedly by some members of the Burkinabe military.”

READ ALSO:Buhari condemns murder of 16 Nigerian pilgrims in Burkina Faso

The statement said Nigerians were agitated by the incident and were calling for a faster and comprehensive response from the government of Burkina Faso.

“Families of the victims are asking questions and therefore the need to hasten the investigation already started by the Burkinabe government.

“Nigeria will not fold its arms and see its citizens being killed or violated anywhere in the world,” the statement said.

The Burkinabe envoy who spoke on the summons, while reiterating his country’s total commitment to the investigation, said preliminary results had shown that terrorists harbouring the area were responsible for the killings as the area was a no-go-area for both the military and civilian population due to the activities of insurgents.

He said investigation had already commenced to fish out the actual perpetrators of the killing by the Burkinabe government and that his country was ready to work with a team of experts from Nigeria to unravel what really happened.

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