President Muhammadu Buhari has described as “extremely unfortunate” the mass killings of innocent people by bandits in Zamfara State, as he conveyed his condolences and that of his government to the people over recent bloody incidents in some communities in the state. Buhari reiterated his earlier commitment to tackle the monster of terrorism head on, assuring that the terror will not survive for much longer.
The president gave the assurance in a statement yesterday by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, following a condolence visit to Zamfara State by a six-man presidential delegation led by Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd).
Speaking during the visit by the presidential delegation, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State said there was an urgent need for review of the military’s anti-terrorism strategy with the introduction of modern equipment and technology.
President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, also expressed concern over the escalating killing of innocent citizens by bandits in many parts of the country. Lawan emphasised that Nigerians were tired of hearing stories of carnages and challenged the military to live up to expectation by urgently addressing the myriad security issues facing the country.
In an address to the governor, commissioners, Emirs, the Chief Judge and Grand Khadi, legislators, council chairmen and political leaders in Zamfara State, Buhari, who was represented by Magashi, expressed the strong determination of the federal government to get rid of the bandits, who had now been classified as terrorists.
The president said, “There will be no let-up in the on-going campaign to rid Zamfara and other affected states of the menace of these terrorists. Since they have no regard for the sanctity of life, so shall they be dealt with.
“The government is fully informed of what is going on and will do whatever it takes to end this. We are here to talk to the governor and to assure the state that the administration is determined to do more to defend the life and property of the people.”
Buhari condoled with the government and the people of the state over the loss of lives and directed the military and other security agencies to intensify the on-going campaign until everyone and everywhere was safe.
The delegation conveyed the approval of the president for palliative items to the Anka and Bukkuyum emirates, the latest to be attacked, and for other areas equally affected by the attacks in the recent past.
Welcoming the delegation earlier, Matawalle said the condolence visit was a testimony to the strong support of the president and the government at the centre. He appreciated the wisdom and vision of the president in approving the on-going military campaign in the state, the effect of which led to the dismantling of terrorists’ hideouts used as launching grounds for kidnapping, rustling and terrorism. But he said there was still need for more to be done.
The governor said Buhari was an example to the world in the establishment of democratic values and commended him for responding positively to all the requests so far placed before him by the state government. He called on the federal government to fortify the security of the state with additional Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and roll out a special intervention fund for Zamfara and other states equally affected by the scourge of insecurity.
Other members of the delegation were Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi; Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Affairs, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Faruk: National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Munguno (rtd); Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba; and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.