A former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has decried the continued killings in the northwest zone, particularly the recent attack in Zamfara State, which left over 200 dead, and therefore appealed to the federal government to ramp up security in the zone to stem further waste of lives.
In the same vein, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has also described the recent killings in Zamfara by bandits as nothing short of horrific.
Also in a related development, the acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Abdulwahab Eyitayo, has hinted that the Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, always offered logistics and other supports to the Nigerian Army in the ongoing war against Boko Haram insurgents without being asked by the military authorities.
Over 500 fleeing bandits on motorcycles had reportedly attacked five villages and razed their homes, after killing over 200 of the people, recently.
Reacting to the development, Atiku in a statement, said, “I expect that security be ramped up to stem this waste of precious human lives.”
The former vice president explained that, “When I expressed my deepest condolences to the people and government of Zamfara State on the 6th of January over the senseless killing of innocent citizens in Bukkuyum and Anka Local Government Areas of the state, little did I know that the tragedy that befell the people was far worse than envisaged.”
He said it was heartbreaking to have dozens of innocent citizens killed in just one day, lamenting: “It is a traumatic experience to imagine. Even as I sympathise with people in the affected families and the affected communities, yet again, as they bury their dead, I expect that security be ramped up to stem this waste of precious human lives.”
Farouq, in a statement, condemned the atrocity that followed the invasion of five communities and killing of over 200 people in Anka and Bukkuyum local government areas of the state as horrific and tragic.
Over 200 persons were buried today (Saturday) due to the invasion by bandits. We are very saddened by this incessant invasion and killings by bandits and we also worry about the displaced persons, who are fleeing in their hundreds from their communities, especially, the women and children.
“We sympathise with the government and people of Zamfara State in this trying period and condole with the families of the dead. We pray for the repose of their souls and that peace returns to the state and soon as possible,” she said.
She, however, directed that relief materials be sent to the Internally Displaced Persons in the state to cushion the effects of the sudden displacement.
Reports say more than 10,000 victims had been rendered homeless after their homes were razed by the bandits while scores were still missing.
Meanwhile, Eyitayo, spoke glowingly yesterday about Zulum, where he noted that his support had gone a long way in enhancing the military operation in the Northeast.
Eyitayo, speaking during Zulum’s visit to the headquarters of the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri during a social gathering organised by the army to celebrate the acting GOC’s recent promotion to the rank of a Major General, said the governor had always come to their aid.
“Severally, without being prompted, you (Governor Zulum) come to our aide to support us (the army) even logistics wise. Through your persistence and unrelenting cooperation and assistance, you have one way or the other, turned the spirit of the soldiers into fighting machines,” he said.
The GOC, therefore, requested Zulum to convey the gratitude of his officers to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief of Army Staff for identifying and promoting deserving soldiers involved with the fight against Boko Haram in Borno State, which he indicated, was highly encouraging.
In his response, Zulum congratulated the acting GOC and other recently promoted military officers, saying the people of Borno shared the good moment and were happy with it
The governor said officers and personnel of the military and other security establishment deserve to be supported and encouraged, even as he described their duties as tough, hence, the need for not only support by states, for increase in their entitlements, when the economy permits such considerations by the federal government.
Zulum credited his administration’s numerous efforts to the peace-building role of the military, which he said, had led to the safe resettlement of about 18 communities across Borno.
He said with continued peace-building, more communities would be safely resettled, while some major roads, such as Maiduguri-Damboa road would be opened for the safe use of motorists.
Zulum was accompanied to the function by commissioners of Agriculture, Bukar Talba; his sports and youths empowerment counterpart, Sainna Buba and that of transport, Abubakar Tijjani.