President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged government and residents of Zamfara not to despair but to see the latest attack as a challenge to step up collective actions to rout the enemy, in partnership with the Federal government.
He urged law enforcement agencies to take prompt and timely actions against the attackers, and also appealed to citizens to have faith in the security agencies by giving useful information on plans and movements of bandits.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja, yesterday, the president commiserated with the government and people of Zamfara on the recent infiltration of bandits, who killed several innocent citizens in Tsafe Local Government Area of the State.
Buhari described the attacks as “callous and despicable” and assured those who lost loved ones to violent attacks that government, under his watch, would soon bring such dastardly acts to an end.
The president commended the new administration in the state for putting in new security measures to curtail activities of criminals and bandits.
At the weekend, bandits kidnapped the head of Yan Buki community in Kaura Namoda Local Government Area of the state, Buhari Ammani, along with his three wives.
Also abducted by the gunmen were Ammani’s children and six other people.
The incident occurred days after gunmen also invaded some communities in Tsafe Local Government Area of the state, killing no fewer than 18 persons, according to the Emir of Tsafe, Alhaji Muhammad Bawa.
Chairman of the local government area, Alhaji Lawal Isa, also confirmed the raid.
He put the number of the kidnapped at nine, saying it was the first attack in the area by gunmen who have been causing trouble in the state.
Although the spokesman for the state police command, Muhammad Shehu, also confirmed the attack, he debunked the number of people said to have been kidnapped.
About two months ago, President Buhari had ordered security chiefs to deal ruthlessly with bandits terrorising Zamfara State and its environs as well as kidnapping and other security challenges in the country.
The president, who gave the marching order at a two-hour closed-door meeting with service chiefs and other heads of security agencies at the Presidential villa, Abuja, also ordered immediate suspension of mining activities in Zamfara State and its environs and served a quit notice to foreigners to quit mining sites in the state, alleging that a link between the bandits and illicit miners had been established.
“Yeah, the marching order is for us to deal with this issue immediately and ruthlessly and ensure that all those bandits are immediately dealt with and all those issues that are bordering on our security are properly addressed,” Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin had told State House Correspondents.