By John Shiklam
No fewer than 24 people have been confirmed dead following attacks by bandits on communities in five local government areas of Kaduna.
The Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the killings in a statement on Tuesday in Kaduna.
The tragic incident came barely three days after bandits riding on motorcycles invaded Kutemeshi village in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area, killing 19 people.
According to the statement, 10 people were killed in Anguwan Gajere village, Birnin Gwari LGA; one in Dankyawai community, Igabi LGA; five in Kishisho village, Kauru LGA; one in Janbaba village, five in Gwagwada-Kasaya village, Chikun LGA; and one in Agwa village, also in Chikun LGA.
Aruwan said: “Following the security situation across the state within the last 24 hours, the Kaduna State Government has received reports from security agencies of the killing of 23 citizens in different attacks on soft targets in Birnin Gwari, Giwa, Chikun, Igabi and Kauru Local Government Areas.
“The attacks on soft targets in these local government areas occurred around Kaduna State’s boundaries with neighbouring states.
“In Birnin Gwari LGA, 10 citizens were killed by bandits in an attack on Ungwan Gajere, Kutemeshi ward,They are: Abdu Hasan, Sufyanu Musa Faisal Zubairu, Abdullahi Hasan, Ali Abdu, Rabiu Aliyu Zubairu Yau, Bukar Yusuf Mamman Ibrahim and Dankande Musa.”
Aruwan added that those who sustained injuries included Baushi Alu, Rabe Sani and Usama Sani.
He said: “In Igabi Local Government Area, bandits shot dead one Dayyabu Yahuza between Sarkin Baka and Dankyawai village, near Gidan Kurmi.
“In Giwa Local Government Area, armed bandits invaded Janbaba village, one Yakubu Sule was shot dead. In Kishisho village, Kauru Local Government Area, gunmen suspected to be from a neighbouring state killed five persons, listed as: Danlami Sunday, Abbas Abou Sati Yakubu , Shaba John Francis.
“In Chikun Local Government Area, five citizens were killed by bandits in Gwagwada-Kasaya village in Kunai ward. They are, Habila Ibrahim, Samaila Audu, John Musa, Birnin Aboki and Ali Aboki.
“Similarly, in Agwa, Chikun LGA, one Bitrus Joseph was shot dead in an attack by bandits.
“Also in Chikun Local Government Area, one bandit was killed near Bugai, when members of the community repelled an attack.”
The commissioner said Governor Nasir El-Rufai has expressed sadness over the attacks and sent his condolences to the families that lost their loved ones.
“He offered prayers for the repose of the souls of the slain, and a speedy recovery for the injured,” he added.
According to Aruwan, “The air platforms of the Nigerian Air Force are trailing and engaging bandits in some locations in Chikun, Birnin Gwari, Giwa and Igabi LGAs,” adding that: “Citizens will be briefed upon the receipt of operational feedback.”
He said: “Governor El-Rufai is wishing the military success in the ongoing operation as he awaits reports.”
El-Rufai had, in an interview with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Monday, declared that the state government will not negotiate or grant amnesty to bandits.
He had maintained that the state is at war with the bandits, insisting that eliminating them is the only solution to put an end to the criminality ravaging the North-west region.