Monarchs Say They Will Provide Evidence Of Villagers Killed By NAF
The Zamfara State Council of Chiefs has maintained that the Nigerian Air Force strikes on bandits killed innocent civilians in some villages in the state.
The Emir of Bungudu and spokesman for the traditional rulers, Alhaji Hassan Attahiru, in a telephone interview on Sunday, insisted NAF came up with hypothetical names of neutralized bandits.
Alh. Attahiru in his statement as reported by Punch, also noted that the traditional council will provide the names of innocent civilians affected in the bombing.
Recall as reported by Naija News on Thursday, the council of chiefs in Zamfara state after its meeting in Gusau, had said that some innocent villagers have been killed in the misdirected air strikes by the military in the ongoing fight against bandits in the state.
The traditional rulers had said, “The council noted that air strikes undertaken by the military do not hit the main camps of the bandits.
“Reports from Mutu in the Tsafe Local Government Area, Tangaram in the Anka Local Government Area and Dumburum in the Zurmi Local Government Area, among others, are that the areas shelled were not the actual hideouts of the bandits and the victims were innocent civilians.”
NAF however on Friday, disagreed with the traditional rulers and challenged them to provide evidence of dead and innocent civilians.
But the Emir of Bungudu, who spoke on behalf of the emirs, insisted that the air strikes did not hit the target, but rather killed innocent victims.
Attahiru said, “There is no where called Ajia in Birnin Magaji. They just concocted names and figure. Who identified those killed as bandits?
“We stand by our statement. It was the complaint from our people. Whether we can provide evidence or not, it is a matter of time.
“We are compiling a verifiable and evidence-based comprehensive report that will include a list of innocent victims. Our outcome will shock Nigerians.”
“We will be the happiest people in Nigeria to see these bandits flushed out of our state. What we complained about is that they should tread with caution. We are not interested in any blame game.
“If they can review and adopt new tactics, one month is enough for them to restore normalcy in a situation they have been on for almost one and a half years.
“The army has been telling us all this while that it has thousands of troops on the ground. Why did it take them (the troops) so much time to neutralise these bandits and allow banditry and kidnapping to fester to this level in Zamfara State?
“If truly they have located and bombed the bandits’ enclaves as they want to make us believe, it is just a matter of time. The truth will surely surface,” Attahiru stated.
This online platform reports that the activities of bandits and other criminals in the state has forced the federal government to place a ban on mining activities in the state as part of efforts to restore normalcy in the area.