SOKOTO — Bandits who were believed to be working as a team massacred dozens of people at Goronyo market in Sokoto State on Sunday night.
The bandits were said to have stormed the weekly Goronyo market in different directions and were shooting sporadically.
According to locals, the market was filled to the brim when the terrorists, riding on over 100 motorcycles, surrounded the place and opened fire on buyers and sellers that led to the death of 49 people.
According to locals, over 65 people have been killed in the last 10 days on that axis.
At least 22 traders were killed in a similar attack at Unguwan Lalle market in Sabon Birni Local Government Area on October 8.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal confirmed the attack on Monday when he hosted the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, at the Sokoto Government House.
He said the number of people killed at the Goronyo market rose to 43 and details were still being put together.
Tambuwal said the spate of attacks by bandits in the eastern part of Sokoto State could be attributed to the ongoing military operation in Zamfara State.
“We were greeted this morning with a dastardly attack and scores lost their lives. We are still counting.”
“It was not like this before. If you chase them away from Zamfara they run into other states. This is why there are attacks in Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Kaduna and Sokoto States.”
“The operation should have taken place in all the distressed states simultaneously. We need more presence of military personnel and more logistics in the state. We will continue to pray for you, Mr President and the armed forces to succeed over these criminals,” he said.
Also, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, while receiving the chief of army staff in his palace said that the current security challenges in the country are surmountable.
“We know the magnitude of the challenge but we have confidence in you. We assure the military of our total commitment and support,” he said.
On his part, the Chief of Army Staff, General Yahaya, who is an indigene of the state, expressed shock over the Goronyo attack.
He said they were in Sokoto to interact with troops, have first-hand information about their operations and appreciate them.
“We succeeded in killing and arresting many of them and we are surprised to see some of the people involved,” he said.
In his condolence message, President Muhammadu Buhari in a statement issued by his media aide, Garba Shehu, said the days of the bandits were numbered because the military capabilities of our forces were being boosted by the acquisition and deployment of advanced equipment.
He said Nigerians should “not to despair because this administration is determined more than ever before to protect Nigerians from murderous criminal gangs that have no respect for the sanctity of life.”
“The bandits are living in the fool’s paradise of invincibility, but reality will soon dawn on them harder than ever before,” the statement said.
Also, the Senator Aliyu Wamakko, representing the Sokoto North, has condemned the killings at the Goronyo market in Sokoto State by armed men suspected to be bandits.
In a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Bashar Abubakar, the Senator described the incident as barbaric and inhuman.
Wamakko, a former Governor of Sokoto State, also stated that no religion in the country allows the wanton killing of innocent souls.
The statement read in part: “The Senator commiserates with the people of Goronyo Local Government, the families of the deceased persons and the entire Sokoto State.”
“God will not allow this ugly trend to continue ravaging the Sokoto communities.”
Wamakko while urging the people of the State to continue to pray to Almighty Allah to provide a remedy to these ungodly acts, prayed to the Almighty Allah to forgive the departed souls and expose those behind the killings of the innocent victims.
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