From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Governor of Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal, has confirmed the killing of 43 persons in an attack on Illela Local Government Area (LGA) of the State.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Muhammad Bello, disclosed that Tambuwal led members of the state’s executive and the security council, as well as other top government officials on a condolence visit to the people of Illela, on Wednesday.
The bandits attacked the town and some villages around it, on Monday, killing 13 people in the first instance.
“At the time of the governor’s visit, on Wednesday, the death toll had risen to 43,’’ he said
Bello said the village head of Kalmalo, one of the five villages affected in the attack, was wounded.
Other villages affected were Munwadata, Sarma, Runji and Masasa.
He added that Tambuwal told the people of Illela that the government and people of state felt their grief and extended their condolences.
“This is not a small occurrence. It is upsetting. This incident really touched us,’’ he quoted Tambuwal as saying.
Bello said the governor commended the local government authority, traditional rulers and community leaders for their lawful composition of a volunteer group to work with security operatives in the area.
He added that the governor assured the people that the state would constitute joint operations of volunteers who would work under the supervision of security agencies to enhance security in the area.
The governor appealed to the people not to be daunted by the attacks.
“Instead, this should motivate you to redouble your efforts without seeking revenge in securing your communities,’’ Tambuwal was quoted to have said.
Meanwhile, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, yesterday, condoled with Tambuwal, the government and people of Sokoto state over the massacre of 43 people in Goronyo and Illela LGA, on Sunday and Monday, by bandits terrorising the country.
The governor, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Nat Ikyur, recalled with pains how, just in October this year, more than 40 people were gruesomely massacred at another market in Goronyo LGA by the same bandits.
He lamented that the boldness being exhibited by the terrorists from state to state across the country is a clear indication that the country is in grave danger and stands the risk of losing out its territorial integrity to terrorists whose sole agenda is to conquer Nigeria.
Ortom appealed to security agencies not to be deterred by the challenges they face in fighting to protect the sovereignty of the nation, but to go all out to uproot the terrorists from the shores of the country.
“Governor Ortom prays that God will grant the deceased rest and the families the fortitude to bear the loss,” the statement concluded.