By Segun Awofadeji
Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has presided over an expanded security council meeting as part of ongoing efforts to address the crisis rocking Billiri Local Government Area of the state over traditional leadership tussle.
Addressing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, the state’s Commissioner for Internal Security and Ethical Orientation, Mr. Dauda Batari Zambuk said the council in a series of resolutions, expressed sadness over the senseless killings and destruction of property in Billiri, which has religious and political undertones.
The commissioner who said so far, four corpses have been recovered by the police as a result of the mayhem, revealed that 16 persons have so far been arrested out of which 15 of them will be arraigned before a court of law in connection with the mayhem while the 16th suspect who is a security personnel is undergoing further investigation.
He said the council also expressed dismay over the spread of fake news, especially on the social media by some unscrupulous individuals who tried to create a scenario that never existed, saying the council has directed security agencies to fish out those spreading fake news for the purpose of prosecuting them.
He said security personnel are already on the trail of suspected masterminds of the mayhem, adding that as assessment team will be set up to determine persons affected, property destroyed and lives lost with a view to offering support to the victims.
He said in view of the severity of the attacks the state government has taken proactive measures in engaging with religious groups and other relevant stakeholders to avert reprisals, saying Council directed chairmen of LGAs in the state to put churches under surveillance to forestall any possible attacks.
The commissioner said the meeting also resolved to set up a commission of inquiry to get to the remote and immediate causes of the incident to avert future occurrence.
He added that the council condoled with the families of the deceased and prayed for the quick recovery of the injured and those who lost their property that God will replenish them.