The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Thursday ordered a “fierce” military operation against bandits in Sokoto State.
The directive came following Wednesday’s attacks in the Sabon Birni Local Government Area of the state, which left many people dead and others injured.
The President condoled with the families of the victims.
“As the world and Nigeria battle coronavirus pandemic, it is tragic and unfortunate that bandits have remained active in parts of the country, killing innocent people and throwing families into despair.
“We will not abandon you to your fate because we are determined to bring these mass murderers to their knees and crush them totally”, a Presidency statement by his media aide, Mr Garba Shehu, said on Thursday night.
Buhari added that a major military operation code-named ‘Operation Accord’ had been launched by the military against the bandits terrorising the North-West and North Central states.
“This operation will be a full time and sustained military offensive that is intended to deny the bandits any breathing space to reorganise and regroup”, he explained.
Buhari reassured Nigerians that the government was determined to protect them against “remorseless psychopathic mass killers who have no regard for the sanctity of life.’’
The bandits struck barely 24 hours after Governor Aminu Tambuwal visited Sabon Birni and Isa local government areas, gunmen attacked Sabon Birni, killing many.
Sources said bandits on motorbikes attacked Garki, Dan Aduwa, Kuzari, Katuma and Masawa villages, few kilometres from Sabon Birni at about 6pm on Wednesday.
When contacted, Sokoto State Police Command PPRO, ASP Muhammad Sadiq, who could not confirm the figure of casualties, which unconfirmed source put at about seventy, told our correspondent to wait for a press conference, saying the command was putting its facts together.
He however later said, “Kindly be informed that the press conference has been postponed due to the fact that the CP had to exit the command to go on a visit to the affected areas.”