Zamfara attacks: Police say only 25 were killed

THE Zamfara State Police Command has denied a report that over eighty people were killed during attacks by suspected bandits.

Zamfara Police Spokesman Mohammed Shehu, in a telephone conversation with The ICIR, said the number of deaths recorded from the attack on Wednesday had been inflated.

Shehu stated that the number of people who suspected bandits killed was not more than 25, adding that the security personnel responded swiftly, thereby foiling the activities of the gunmen.

When asked if the villagers who fled their homes have returned to bury the dead, he responded, saying nobody fled, adding that security agents intercepted the attacks, killing several gunmen in the process.

“That number you are saying is outrageous. Nobody fled because the security agents responded promptly and neutralised many bandits,” he said.

The Police PRO also said that over thirty bandits were killed in a village in Maradun Local Government Area of the state.

Shehu further said the number being reported was those inflated by criminals, which he said was to push their propaganda and perpetuate fear through the media.

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He urged the media personnel to assist the police in fighting this agenda, stating that the media also has a major role in crime management and control.

It would be recalled that gunmen had on Wednesday attacked five villages in Zamfara, which resulted in the deaths of about 83 people, leaving a large number of others injured, according to several reports.

Victims of the attacks were said to be mainly members of the local vigilante group, who died in a bid to protect their people.

Zamfara, in recent years, has seen an outbreak of attacks by bandits, leaving many people dead. The state has been described as the epicentre of banditry in Northern Nigeria, by the former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme Usman Yusuf, in a live webinar organized by The ICIR.



    However, these attacks have been condemned by Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari, who described them as “insane” and warned that the Federal Government has the capacity to crush those promoting insecurity in Nigeria.

    In a statement released on Thursday by his aide, Buhari said that the incessant killings would be a thing of the past in no distant time.

    “Such wanton disregard for life will be brought to an end sooner than later,” he said.

    He further urged all security agencies to intensify all efforts to end banditry and violence against innocent people.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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