Olusola Fabiyi, Kamarudeen Ogundele, Leke Baiyewu and Adeniyi Olugbemi
The United Kingdom has demanded investigation into the recent massacre of over 40 persons in Zamfara State and prosecution of the suspects involved.
The UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright, made the demand via his Twitter handle, @PaulTArkwright, in response to a tweet by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in which he made a similar demand on Friday night.
Saraki had tweeted, “I join all Nigerians in condemning the killing of innocent and defenceless citizens in Birane Village, Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State. Such senseless acts have no place in our society. Our security agencies must do all that it takes to find and prosecute the perpetrators.”
Responding, Arkwright tweeted, “@bukolasaraki, I too condemn this murderous attack in Zamfara State and offer my sympathy to all affected. Violence is never the right way to resolve disputes. This incident should be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice. @UKinNigeria.”
Some members of the Senate have also condemned the killings through their social media platforms, while also blaming the spate of insecurity in parts of the country on laxity by the government.
Senator Shehu Sani specifically condemned governors of northern states for their alleged inaction on the killings in that part of the country.
He said, “Most political elite from northern Nigeria are not loudly speaking against the mass murder going on in northern Nigeria, perpetrated by bandits, armed herdsmen or organised criminal gangs out of fear that they may be tagged or labeled as anti-Federal Government or anti-President.”
Similarly, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce (Bayelsa East), on Friday night, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to learn from President Donald Trump who travelled to the school in Florida where 17 students were shot dead to condole with their friends and families.
Meanwhile, a delegation of the Northern Governors’ Forum on Saturday paid a condolence visit to Zamfara to commiserate with people, especially the Zurmi Emirate Council, over the recent massacre in the area.
The forum’s Chairman, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, led the delegation, comprising the governors of Sokoto State, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal; Kebbi, Abubakar Bagudu; and Nassarawa State, Tanko Almakura.
At the palace of the emir of Zurmi, Shettima said they came on behalf of the people of northern Nigeria to commiserate with Zamfara people over the attack.
He described the attack as unfortunate and worrisome, saying, “It is very disheartening that some criminals decide to kill innocent people.’’
The Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, thanked the governors for the visit and said his administration was making efforts in collaboration with the Federal Government to end the killing of innocent people in the state.
Also on Saturday, the Peoples Democratic Party condemned the gruesome killings.
The party lamented the alleged continued failure of the Federal Government to take decisive steps to end the incessant killings in various parts of the country.
It, therefore, called on all Nigerians, irrespective of religion, ethnicity and political affiliations, to join forces in praying for the nation as well as supporting one another at this critical time in the country.
The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, said it was heartbreaking that Nigerians “are daily slaughtered by marauders while those elected to protect our people are only concerned with their selfish re-election bid in 2019 and meaningless photo opportunities in the media.”
IGP, defence minister visit Zamfara
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on Saturday, visited Zurmi town in Zamfara State, where suspected armed bandit killed over 40 residents.
The IGP, who was in the palace of the Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Attahiru Abubakar, on a condolence visit, promised to strengthen security in the area and bring the perpetrators to book.
He was accompanied by the Commissioners of Police in the Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina states commands.
The Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Attahiru Abubakar, expressed his displeasure with the delay in security agencies’ reaction to handling reports passed unto them prior to the attack that left many dead in his domain.
He lamented that the unfortunate massacre could have been avoided if the security outfits in the state had lived up to their responsibilities.
Also, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, on Saturday, met with Hausa and Fulani communities in Zurmi.
The Public Relations Officer of the defence ministry, Col. Tukur Gusau, who is also the aide to the minister, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said the minister went for an on-the-spot assessment to the community and met with the Emir of Zurmi as well as the Hausa-Fulani community.
Yari vindicates me on $1bn withdrawal, says Fayose
Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has said the claim by the Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, that security agencies failed to respond to the alert given them to prevent the Zamfara massacre, has vindicated him.
Fayose noted that the statement had validated his stance that no extra $1bn was needed to be deducted from the Excess Crude Oil Account to fund the fight against insurgency.
The governor alleged that funds being spent on security were not well used, adding that it was unfortunate that the country continued to witness daily killings.
Fayose, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, wondered why more money should be given to security agencies, if they were not properly utilising the funds earlier given to them.
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