Sad! 32 get mass burial, as NASS, Tambuwal, govs condemn Sokoto killings

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Sad! 32 get mass burial, as NASS, Tambuwal, govs condemn Sokoto killings

Sad! 32 get mass burial, as NASS, Tambuwal, govs condemn Sokoto killings
July 13
07:14 2018

The Senate and the House of Representatives on Thursday condemned the killing of 39 persons in Sokoto State by suspected bandits on Tuesday.

The Sokoto State Government was reported on Thursday to have held a mass burial on Wednesday for 32 people, who were killed when bandits on motorcycles invaded villages in Rabah Local Government Area of the state. Compared to the neighbouring Zamfara, Sokoto has been peaceful.

While Senator Adamu Aliero (Kebbi-Central) and his counterpart,  Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto-North), who both sponsored a motion that condemned the killings,  put the number of people that died at 40, in the House, a member from the state, Mr Aminu Shagari, said about 32 persons were killed.

But the state Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, while receiving seven governors on Thursday said besides the 32 people, who were buried, seven more corpses were brought to the villages on Wednesday.

At the plenary, the Senate condemned the killings and urged the Federal Government to deploy more security personnel and equipment in Sokoto State.

While calling for more security presence in Sokoto and the neighbouring states, the upper chamber of the National Assembly urged the military, Nigeria Police and the Department of State Services to combat the killers collectively.

The call followed the adoption of a motion moved by Aliero and Wamakko entitled “Gruesome Killing of 40 People in Sokoto State by Bandits.”

Granting prayers of the motion, the lawmakers unanimously resolved to “urge the Federal Government to mandate the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigeria Police’s helicopter divisions to carry out an aerial surveillance of Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi states, with the view to identifying locations and hideouts of these bandits and dealing with them decisively.”

The lawmakers also urged the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, through the commissioners of police in the three states to set up a “special squad” to mop up the whole zone and get rid of the bandits.

They also called for “synergy between the DSS, the police and the armed forces with the view to sharing intelligence and strategies in getting rid of the bandits.”

While the lawmakers resolved to observe a one-minute silence in honour of those killed, which was done, they requested the National Emergency Management Agency to send emergency relief materials to the affected communities.

The Senate further resolved to send a delegation to condole with the government and people of Sokoto State over the attacks.

Moving the motion, Aliero said, “The Senate notes with sadness the gruesome and unprecedented killing of innocent and defenceless people – 40 in number – in Sokoto by bandits on Monday morning at Dogonyero in Gandi District of Raba Local Government Area of Sokoto.

“The Senate is further concerned that the bandits are operating in the Zamfara forest where they carry out nefarious and barbaric killings of innocent people over a period of two years. The Senate further notes that they moved with motorcycles that carry up to three people, numbering about 30 motorcycles in all, meaning that the bandits were up to 90.

“The Senate is worried that the bandits sent two people to the village to buy food for them, and the villagers observed that the emissaries were armed and they were interrogated by the villagers and found to be bandits similar to the ones operating in Zamfara. The villagers apprehended and executed the two emissaries.”

According to Aliero, the group sent advance notice to the villagers that it was coming to retaliate the killing of its members. He lamented that security agencies, who were alerted about the impending reprisal, allegedly withdrew their men after some days.

He said, “The Senate notes with sympathy that the chairman of the local government and the village head alerted the law enforcement agencies to this notice of the bandits. Security was provided for a period of five days, after which they were withdrawn. Immediately the security agencies were withdrawn, the bandits moved in and started killing indiscriminately using AK-47 rifles.

“The situation now is that most of the villagers have left their homes out of fear and so many are still stranded in the bush, not to mention the injured ones still at the hospital and others rendered homeless.”

In a related development, six governors on Thursday visited their Sokoto State counterpart, Alhaji Aminu  Tambuwal, to sympathise  with him over the killings

The governors included those of Zamfara, Borno, Niger, Jigawa, Katsina and Adamawa states.

Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum, Alhaji AbdulAzeez Abubakar Yari, who spoke on behalf of others, described the killings as regrettable.

He expressed concern that the bandits were shifting their activities to Sokoto State,  which he described as a peaceful state.

Yari said, “We came to Sokoto to condole with our colleague governor and the good people of the state for the loss. We are concerned about this ugly incident. About 11 of us planned to come over for this condolence but some couldn’t make it.

“This incident is regrettable and we know how painful it can be losing loved ones and relatives, but we pray that God will console them and protect our country.”

The governor called on the citizens to willingly offer information to security agencies about strange people around saying, “if we come together we can achieve a lot.”

Responding, Tambuwal thanked the governors for visiting the state and described the attack as first of its kind in the state.

He disclosed that the incident, which happened at Tabanni village in Rabah Local Government Area of the state, claimed no fewer than 39.

“We buried 32 people yesterday but when we were leaving the area, they brought additional seven bodies with one severely damaged which brought the total number to 39.”

Tambuwal said, “This is the first time Sokoto will be having this kind of challenge. We have been facing pressure from neighbouring Zamfara State, and we have been working very closely with the governor of Zamfara State to make sure that the security threat did not degenerate to this level.

“But unfortunately, these marauders invaded Tabanni village, killing and maiming people. These marauders never took away even a chicken; they only came to kill, and left.”

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