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*Matawalle confirms killing of 58*

Sani Muhammad Sani

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed outrage at the latest reports of several villagers being massacred by escaping bandits in Zamfara State.

About 200 people were said to be killed in a devastating attack unleashed by bandits who invaded villages of Anka and Bukkuyum local government areas of Zamfara state.

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.

The encounter started when the bandits travelling in large number with about 3000 cattle were confronted by the local vigilante group with an effort to stop the criminals, gun battle ensued which led to the Invasion of the area by the criminals. 

Some of the victims were burnt beyond recognition in the attack that started last Tuesday and lasted until Thursday on five communities of Kurfa Danya, Barayar Zaki Tungar Isa, Rafin Gero, Tungar Isa, were attacked where 80 locals were killed mercilessly. 

President Buhari continued that “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.”

President 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, President Buhari 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.”

Survivors from the  terrorists attack disclosed that the invaders set many houses ablaze, while compelling many residents to sought refuge elsewhere, others remain missing 

The bandits according to our sources came in hundreds on motorcycles while others shepherds herds of cattle suspected to be rustled. 

The criminals on arriving at the villages shoots sporadically instling fear and terror at the locals at the same time torching food items, bans and residential houses 

Investigations revealed that bandits are the law in some communities of Zamfara state while also establishing their presence and regrouping, gearing up for more devastating attack in western Zamfara State Nigeria precisely relocating Gando forest, which is about 38 klm away from Bukkuyum local government area of Zamfara state. 

Bello Turji, a reknown terrorist is said to find solace in the forest as more tents resurfaced to shelter bandits leaders and their cohorts this was subsequent to Nigerian Air force syrike at the bandit’s enclave where Turji and associates in crimes were striking at innocent citizens. 

Another corroborating story in a fresh attack that occurred week end in the communities of Anka, Bukkuyum and Gummi local government areas of Zamfara state revealed that is was a reknown bandit leader known as Shehu Bayade that planned and unleashed the deadly 

The number of the victims killed could not be accertain at the time of filing this reports because of the fear of hundreds of displaced victims to return to the forest in search of the dead from the terrorists’ attack on Rafin Danya, Barayar Zaki, Rafin Gero and Kurfa villages. 

Survivors revealed that presence of more  terrorist are promiscuous posing more danger for anyone to search for lost and killed ones. 

Residents lamented that there were no security presence in the area to encourage them evacuate the dead and the seriously wounded. 

The State commissioner of police Ayuba Elkanah disclosed that the police are compiling reports and authenticating the number of victims killed in the attack. 

Elkanah disclosed that presence of the terrorists in the area pose more threath for security to move in. 

The State Governor, Bello Matawalle has visited the General hospital Gusau to see the five wounded police officers who sustain various degree of injuries in a fiece encounter with the terrorist while trying to repel the attack 

The Governor condemn the attack and encourage the security agencies to be more proactive. 

The State Commissioner for Information, Zamfara State, Ibrahim Dosara who revealed that informants are the worst component of banditry revealed that military aircraft has been deployed along with security forces as a manhunt for the attackers .Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle of Zamfara State has assured trailing and arrest of bandits behind Tuesday’s and Thursday’s merciless killings of 58 innocent people across seven villages under Bukkuyum and Anka local government areas of the state.
Matawalle who gave the assurance 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 are 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 has 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 comisserate and assess damages done to the victims of recent banditry attacks  in the areas.
Governor 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 featued 68, 200 and up to 500 were killed. recent killings, confirms 58 were killed

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