President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday condemned the latest reported killings of dozens of people in many villages in Zamfara State by escaping bandits.
Also, Governor Bello Matawalle, who paid condolence visits to the emirs of Anka and Bukuyyum, expressed disgust over the attacks, but called on the media to stop giving scary death figures.
Daily Trust on Sunday reports that families of the victims of the carnage and witnesses said no fewer than 143 people were recovered between Thursday and Friday and buried.
During the Zamfara governor’s visit yesterday, the Emir of Anka, Alhaji Attahiru Muhammad Ahmad, said 22 people were killed in his emirate while the Emir of Bukuyyum, Alhaji Muhammad Usman, said 36 people were killed, putting the total figure at 58.
President Buhari, in a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu, expressed outrage at the reports of the large-scale killings and destruction.
The president, who extended his sympathy to the survivors and families of those killed, appealed to the affected communities for patience.
“The army and 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,” he said.
On his part, Governor Matawalle warned the media against quoting scary figures, saying those who reported deliberate lies about the activities of bandits in Zamfara would be treated as terrorists.
He said the figures quoted by the emirs were against those quoted by the media, ranging from 200 to 500 deaths.
“It is also obvious that my administration is not only threatened by bandits in the bush but also political bandits in our towns and villages. These are politicians who manipulate the crisis for political gains and the informants who aid the bandits in their nefarious activities,” he said.
Recall that migrating terrorists loyal to terror kingpin, Bello Turji, who were displaced by fighter jets of the Nigerian Air Force from their enclaves in Fakai forest in Shinkafi Local Government Area, were moving southwards of Zamfara when they descended on the locals, killing many.