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Zamfara Massacre: Buhari and I have failed on our campaign promises – Yari

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…Says he alerted security agencies of impending attacks 24 hours earlier

Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State on Friday said the recent killings in the state where about 38 people died was a clear indication that he and President Muhammadu Buhari failed on their campaign promises of securing the lives and properties of residents of the state. 

The governor also said he alerted security agencies of the impending attacks 24 hours before it actually happened. 

Recall that some bandits had on Wednesday night invaded Zurmi LGA of the state killing 38 innocent people. 

Speaking Friday evening when he led five northern governors on a sympathy visit to the palace of the Emir of Zurmi, Yari said security agencies in the area have failed to tackle the problem of cross-border banditry and terrorism bedevilling communities in the area.

The governor added: “I feel I let down the people of this state whenever I remember the promise I made to them that when they elect President Muhammadu Buhari into power, these killings will end. But unfortunately, things are now getting worse. I urge security agencies to up the ante so as not to lose this war.”

Yari also said when he alerted the security agencies, they sent inadequate personnel to confront the bandits. 

In his remarks, the Emir of Zurmi, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, echoed Yari’s words, adding that if not for the bravery of vigilante groups who confronted the bandits, the casualty figures would have been higher.

Giving insight into what really happened, the Emir alleged that 600 bandits attempted to invade Zurmi but were repelled by vigilantes. “They came on many motorcycles, with three persons on each bike, each of them well-armed. We stationed 500 vigilante members who stood their ground and gallantly fought. Unfortunately, these same bandits turned their anger on travellers and other villagers on their way here, that was why we had 39 people killed.”

The Emir said the bandits are known, with their major hideout in a village called Kagara, very close to Bafarawa in Sokoto State. “Majority of weapons used by bad people in this country are brought in from this area. I had reason to personally inform Zamfara State Director of DSS sometime back that a large cache of weapons have been brought into the country but no concrete action was taken,” he said.

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I don’t need to repeat here that we need a full battalion of soldiers here and in areas surrounding Maru, Maradun, Shinkafi and Zurmi LGAs,” the visibly angry Emir said. 

In his remarks, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno appealed to the people not to lose patience. He sympathized with the victims and prayed to God to grant the deceased eternal rest. In addition, governors on the entourage included Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, and Umar Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa states.

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