JUST IN; Governor mourns as gunmen reportedly kill 43 persons

Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, on Wednesday, led members of the state executive and security councils, as well as other top government officials on a condolence visit to the people of Illela, a border town about 97 kilometres from the state capital.

Recall that armed marauders had attacked the town and some villages near it in the wee hours Monday, at first instance killing 13 people. However, at the time of the Governor’s visit Wednesday afternoon, the toll had risen to 43.

A statement signed by the special adviser on media and publicity to the governor, Muhammad Bello, said the district head in one of the five villages of Kamalo, Munwadata, Sarwa, Runji and Masada that were attacked during the midnight raid, was wounded. 

Bello said that Governor Tambuwal during the visit to Illela town told his audience that: “We’re here, on behalf of the government and good people of our dear state, to extend our heartfelt condolences on this unfortunate incident which claimed the lives of many of our citizens.

“This is not a small occurrence. It is upsetting,” he stated, emphasizing that: “this incident really touched us.”

He, however, commended the local government authorities, monarchs and community leaders for their lawful composition of a volunteer group working in tandem with the security operatives in the area.

He said the state government “will continue to frown upon the constitution of illegitimate volunteers,” pointing out that “the joint operations of legitimately constituted volunteers, who work closely with and under the supervision of security agencies, is the appropriate antidote to this crisis.

The Governor appealed to the people of the area not to be daunted by the recent attack. “Instead, it should motivate you all to redouble your efforts, without seeking revenge, in securing your communities,” he said.

He assured them of sustained government assistance “whenever required”, while praying for the repose of the souls of the deceased. 

“I, once again, urge you to be patient and prayerful. I am delighted with the communal efforts at cooperation and prayers, led by the monarchs and community leaders here, being offered for the intercession of God in bringing us peace. Please, do not relent. May Allah grant us peace and peaceful coexistence,” he prayed profusely.

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