Governor Explains How Eight People Were Killed in Zamfara

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  • Says people killed were Muslims
  • ‘Perpetrators ‘ll be prosecuted’

Tobi Soniyi in Abuja

Zamfara State Governor and Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Abdulazeez Yari, has stated that perpetrators of the violence in Talata-Mafara in the state on Monday, which resulted in the death of eight persons, will be arrested and prosecuted.

The governor, who explained the incident which led to the killing of the eight persons and burning of a house in the village to newsmen after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday at the State House, said even though no arrest had been made by the security personnel, investigation was going on to ensure that the perpetrators of the crime did not go unpunished.

Yari said “As at the time I left Zamfara, no arrest yet. Immediately the incident happened, the school authority shut down. The police and DSS are carrying out their investigation and soon there will be arrests. The government will not take lightly people taking laws into their hands. If you say the punishment of who abused Prophet should be death, and you now kill innocent people and by the way there is a government in place; there are laws and there are courts where Islamic laws are practised in Zamfara. So, why should someone take laws into his hands? So definitely all the culprits will be brought to book.”

Reacting to rumours making the round that the violence was religious in nature, the governor explained that it was a fallout of a disagreement between two students.

He explained “I think what happened is unnecessary and it’s not supposed to happen if not for the act of the devil. From the intelligence I heard from the security agencies, there was a fight between two students and I think one of them injured the other and started shouting that he abused Prophet Muhammad and other students came and beat the other boy who is a Yoruba and from Kogi State. Some people are saying he is a Muslim and some say the boy is a Christian. They beat the student until he collapsed and thought he was dead. Then security personnel requested help from one shop owner who then took the boy to the hospital in his car.

“Then the students heard that the boy was still alive and was in the hospital. So, they went to the hospital. However, the boy was rescued by the army in the hospital. But I don’t know if the boy is alive or dead now.

“Then the students went back to the Polytechnic and burnt the shop of the person who gave his car to rescue the boy and they came back to town again and you know the police in the division don’t have enough men to contain the riot and before reimbursement came in,the crowd threw tyre in the man’s house and burnt the house down.

“That was how everybody in the house was killed and everybody killed in the house were Muslims and not like the rumours going around in the social media that Christians are being killed in Zamfara.

“In fact, the mob wanted to go and burn churches and attack non-Muslims but the security forces stopped them. It’s my home town and that’s where I live.”