Herders Return to Killing Spree, Cut Down 43 People

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After a seeming interlude to allow the presidential election to take place in Nigeria, the herders wing of the rampaging Boko Haram, appears to have returned to their business of short-circuiting human lives. Already, they have cut down the lives of 43 people.

Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State confirmed the death of 16 people in a fresh banditry at Dalijan, Rakkoni and Kalhu communities in the Rabah Local Government Area of the state just as 27 went down in Kaduna State.

Tambuwal who made this known in Sokoto, the state capital, claimed that the incident occurred on Monday night. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) however, reports that the banditry, which started in the state last July 9, has so far taken a total of 81 lives.

The embattled governor is calling on security agencies to intensify efforts at safeguarding the people’s lives and property as he prayed Allah to grant the victims the fortitude to bear the loss.

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On the recent political happenings after the just-concluded Presidential and National Assembly elections, Tambuwal expressed his concern that some politicians were indulging in do-or-die politics, adding that the situation had negated calls for peaceful campaigns and elections devoid of thuggery.

‘’During the elections, we experienced developments that clearly exhibited continued determination of the opposition to engaged in do-or- die politics. Leaders and loyalists of our party, the PDP were harassed, hounded and arrested by security agents even on the Election Day. The opposition also engaged in post-election mayhem, with attacks and arson on law-abiding citizens’’, Tambuwal said.

Continuing, he added, ‘’many properties and houses were razed in Wamakko and Kware towns as well as parts of Sokoto metropolis in a show of terror against perceived opponents and non-partisan members of the public. Many polling units identified as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) strongholds had logistic and technical problems with delayed balloting to very late hours.

‘’We were aware of efforts to engaged electoral officials and security agents by the opposition with a view to compromising their integrity. These manifested through various machinations and techniques that included the late hour transfer of security officials and replacement of electoral officers.’’

While emphasising that his administration was committed to free and fair elections, conducted in a peaceful atmosphere and freedom, he said, ‘’our concern is greater victory through winning ballot boxes. Our objective for seeking your mandate is for service to the society rather than proving our strength as we demand chance for our people to choose or reject us in their own free will.’’

Governor Tambuwal urged the populace to continue to be patient and law-abiding as more critical elections that had direct bearing to people’s lives were coming in the next few days and accordingly appealed to people to re commit themselves to the democratic process, stressing that people should prepare to come out and elect leaders of their choice.

The governor said that the people should not allow ourselves to be intimidated or terrorised to the extent of failing to discharge their civic duties in the remaining elections, scheduled for March 9.

In the meantime, the Kaduna State Government has confirmed another attack in Southern Kaduna consisting mostly of Christians. About 27 bodies have been recovered following renewed attacks by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen in Kajuru and Kachia local governments.

President Muhammadu Buhari won Kaduna in the presidential election with more than 300,000 votes. But the herdsmen were said to have stormed Maro and four other communities at about 5:30a.m, yesterday, setting many houses ablaze and attacking many of the villagers.

A source in Maro said the armed men were more than 400, and that they came to the village very early with various types of weapons. ‘’As I’m talking to you, many have fled their homes and are hiding in the bushes’’, one of the villagers said.

‘’The Kaduna State Government has today received the sad news of renewed attacks in Kajuru and Kachia local government areas. The government condemns this recourse to violence and calls on all communities to support the efforts to restore calm in the area.

‘’The Kaduna State Government was briefed by security agencies of renewed attacks in Kajuru local government area, and in parts of neighbouring Kachia LGA. The Kaduna State Government has been assured that the security agencies are working assiduously to contain the situation.

‘’The Government is saddened by these attacks, condemns the perpetrators and urges all residents of the area to support the security agencies in their efforts to protect communities’’, the state government said.

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