45 buried as death toll rises in Sokoto attacks, says governor

The death toll from the violent attacks on Sunday and Monday in Illela and Goronyo Local Government Areas of Sokoto State has risen to 45, Governor Aminu Tambuwal has said.

On Wednesday, Mr Tambuwal said he was briefed about the gravity of the attacks during a visit to the affected areas.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported the governor initially saying at least 15 people were killed in the attacks.

President Muhammadu Buhari also condemned the incidents.

On Thursday morning, Governor Tambuwal’s spokesperson, Muhammad Bello, told the BBC Hausa Service that residents told the governor during his visit that 45 people were buried after the attacks.

He said dozens others were injured, including a village head. Mr Bello said the injured victims are receiving treatment at health facilities and in their houses.

He said the gunmen raided Illela town and at least seven villages in the suburbs.

According to his spokesperson, Mr Tambuwal also condemned the activities of illegal vigilante groups in the areas, warning that the government will not tolerate their lawlessness.

He said the governor, however, commended the security forces and registered volunteer groups complimenting the efforts of the security agencies.

Goronyo and Illela are among council areas where the state government has shut down telecommunications networks and banned weekly markets to curb the activities of bandits.

However, reprisal attacks involving bandits and vigilante groups have intensified in Sokoto.

Bandits have been reported to have established administration in many rural communities in the state, imposing taxes on villagers.

As Tambuwal visits locations, Buhari condemns killings

Earlier, President Buhari had condemned the killings in Sokoto State.

Reacting to the incident from South Africa through his media aide, Garba Shehu, Mr Buhari said, “this needless and mindless violence against innocent people cannot go unpunished.”

The president also sympathised with the victims of the attacks and urged the security forces to redouble their efforts in fighting the criminality.

“This persistent and unprovoked violence against unarmed civilians must be met with fierce response by the government.

“Let me once again, reassure Nigerians, that this administration will not abandon them to their fate in the face of this existential challenge caused by banditry.”

According to the president, “we are taking delivery of military equipment to improve the capacity of our security forces to effectively deal with this issue.

“Our military is also deploying advanced technology to enhance surveillance and related operations to locate and crush these criminals and enemies of our common humanity.

“This administration will not tolerate this state of affairs where criminals deprive the people of their means of livelihood and turn them into beggars and refugees.

“The bandits are living in a fool’s paradise if they believe that they can’t be crushed. The criminals cannot be lucky always; they will ultimately meet their Waterloo. Evil cannot triumph over good no matter how long it takes,” President Buhari said in the statement.”

By Premium Times



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