Birnin Gwari killings: El-Rufai visits Gwaska as death toll hits 71

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Kaduna State Governor Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai on Monday visited Gwaska in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of the state where gunmen killed scores of people on Saturday.

The governor, who arrived in Birnin Gwari around 12 noon, proceeded to the palace of the emir, Malam Jibril Zubair II, where he met with the traditional ruler and community leaders.

The emir had told the governor that the head count of bodies was 58, but 13 more bodies were later discovered, bringing the toll 71,  according to palace sources. The Kaduna State Commissioner of Police Austin Iwar had confirmed that 45 bodies were recovered as at Sunday.

El-Rufai condoled with the emir saying he came to share the pain and predicament of innocent citizens whose lives were cut short due to the terrorism of bandits and criminals.

The governor, who arrived Gwaska at exactly 2:10 pm, was taken round and briefed by Malam Isa Musa, the leader of the community, who narrated how the bandits carried out the heinous attack.

Musa said that the attackers “were heavily armed with sophisticated weapons and are not ordinary gunmen. They came from different directions and circled us shooting and burning our houses with impunity.

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“We appreciate all your commitment but we wish to let you know that only full military action on both land and air can match these terrorists. They are mercenaries and marksmen. As you can see it’s about seven kilometres to Dansadau in Zamfara State and other boundaries with Katsina and Niger states with us here in Birnin Gwari,” he said.

El-Rufai assured the people that both the state and federal governments will intensify action to address the lingering problem of rural banditry.

He told the people that government will assist in rebuilding the affected communities and urged them to continue to be law-abiding.

Earlier, the Emir, Malam Jibril Zubair II praised the Federal and state governments for demonstrating commitment to the plight of his people.

“As a member of the State Security Council, I am in the know of federal and state government commitment.

“The IGP and the GOC were here and have confirmed the establishment of a Battalion of the army and Police Area Command. I am happy that you are going to Gwaska and other communities to see for yourself.”

The governor was accompanied by officials, including the Secretary to the Kaduna State Government, Malam Balarabe Abbas Lawal, the Garrison Commander, 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen O.J. Akpor, ACP Ahmad Tijjani Abdullahi, Political Adviser, Uba Sani, Security Adviser, Col. Yakubu Yusuf (Rtd), Maryam Abubakar and Samuel Aruwan, Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity.

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