90 slain victims buried, many still missing in Zamfara bandits’ attacks
Charles Nwoke, Gusau, Nigeria
April 23, 2021
Images courtesy of local sources, fair use. Above, bodies recovered from the attacks. Below, R.I.P. images of victims.
The death toll from the Zamfara State attacks is skyrocketing as reports from residents indicated that no fewer than 90 corpses slain victims have so far been buried while many people remain missing for recent rounds of the inferno.
The Zamfara State Government has equally closed down four main markets temporarily to avert reprisal attacks by vigilante members.
However, the government was silent on the casualty figures as it called on the security operatives to do more to deploy security in the violence-prone communities.
Sources from the Magami community said they buried over 60 corpses on Friday morning, after earlier reporting the recovery of 53 bodies. They revealed that many residents of the area were still missing and believed to have been killed.
Sanusi Na’ibi, the Chief Imam of the Magami, presided over the funeral prayer. Most of the corpses were brought in from neighboring villages but some residents said remote parts that could not move their corpses to the town held separate funeral prayers and burials.
A local source explained, “Gusau Local Government Area is the worst affected because the assailants attacked to kill and not loot.”
However, the Kaduna State Government has ordered four markets to be shut down temporarily, to prevent fresh attacks.
Vigilante groups often target suspected bandits at cattle markets to avenge attacks on agrarian communities.
They are Magami Market in Gusau Local Government Area Council, Dansadau Market in Maru Local Government Area Council, Wanke Market in Gusau Local Government Area Council, and Dauran Market in Zurmi Local Government Area Council.
Ibrahim Dosara, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, said in a statement on Thursday, “Security agencies are hereby directed to ensure strict compliance. They are also ordered to deal, ruthlessly, with anyone found violating law and order within and around the affected markets.”
He said the government “noted with dismay, the callous act of terrorism meted to innocent people carrying out their legitimate businesses.”
Dosara said the Zamfara State Government had directed its Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to immediately mobilize to the affected villages and provide relief materials to the families of the victims.
The Commissioner lamented that the current fracas occurred when the state government was recording progress in its efforts to restore peace and security in the state and put an end to killings and kidnapping ravaging the state.
He said Governor Bello Matawalle, had equally implored security agencies in the state to work together to provide security to the affected areas across the state.
Meanwhile, residents said the raid had persisted due to the unavailability of security agents in the most affected parts of the state. They disclosed that this has encouraged extrajudicial killings and reprisal attacks between vigilante groups and bandits.
According to them, the assailants carried sophisticated weapons and attacked the villages on motorcycles, adding that most of the villages had been deserted following incessant attacks until some villagers started returning for the farming season.