In what appears to be confusing death figures from a tragedy, media reports, especially by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) says 25 persons were killed in the recurring bandit attacks in Sokoto State in the north-western flank of Nigeria, but a statement from the President’s office puts the death toll at scores.
Already NAN says the 25 persons killed have been buried at a ceremony attended by State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal on Sunday.
In fact, the Police say at least four persons, including a woman, have been arrested in connection with the attack on the villages.
In a statement by Mr. Garba Shehu, the
Senior Special Assistant to the President, he said President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday expressed deep shock and sadness over the death of scores of people in the banditry attacks which occurred on Saturday in three communities in Rabah Local Government Area (LGA) of Sokoto State.
He added, “The President, who was briefed about the incident and the arrests so far made by the Police, condoles with Governor Aminu Tambuwal and the people of the State over the tragic incident.
“President Buhari strongly condemns all acts of violence and terrorism against innocent Nigerians, reiterating that perpetrators and sponsors of such dastardly acts would be held accountable under the law.
“The President prays for the quick recovery of all those injured and assures that his administration will not relent in the fight to neutralise terrorists, bandits and kidnappers around the country”.
NAN reports that Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Sunday attended the funeral of 25 persons killed by bandits in a fresh attack which occurred on Saturday in three communities in Rabah local government area of the state.
Tambuwal together with heads of security agencies, traditional rulers and government officials later condoled the families of the victims after the burial held at Gandi town.
NAN gathered that the bandits who were in large numbers raided Kalhu, Tsage and Geeri villages near Gandi and killed the 25 persons.
The attackers were said to have engaged in indiscriminate shooting from around 5pm on Saturday till Sunday morning, after which they carted away hundreds of cows, sheep and other valuables.
Rabah has been experiencing bandits’ attacks in recent time, with people losing their lives while many others who were rendered homeless now taking refuge at an Internally Displaced Persons camp in Gandi.
Tambuwal pledged that the government would take more measures “to end such uncivilized and barbaric attacks”, and urged community members to assist security agencies with useful information to track the bandits.
Speaking to newsmen, Sokoto state Commissioner of Police, Mr Ibrahim Kaoje, said four persons including a woman informant who pretended to be a lunatic were arrested.
Kaoje said that a joint security operation was in progress to contain banditry and other crimes in the state.
The state Chairman, IDPs’ Welfare Committee, Malam Lawal Maidoki said relief materials had been delivered to the victims.
NAN reports that with the present 25 killed in the latest attack, the total number of persons killed by bandits in Sokoto state has risen to 108 from 2018 to date.
Other places affected by armed bandits’ attacks were Dalijan, Rakkoni and Tabanni communities within the period.