The 150 residents of Unguwar Galadima village in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, murdered by gunmen over the weekend have been given a befitting mass burial.
According to sources, the state Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari, was present for the ceremony which took place on Sunday, and expressed shock and grief over the unfortunate incident, while condemning the neglect of the security forces available. While giving the assurance of his government’s determination to fish out the culprits and bring them to book, Yari also promised that the families of the victims would be compensated to cushion their suffering.
Over 215 persons were said to have been killed in the attack on the people who were holding a meeting of vigilante groups to review the security situation in the area when the gunmen struck.
In response to the killings, the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, has ordered the immediate deployment of special forces, comprising 10 units of Police Mobile Force (PMF), three units of conventional policemen, a unit of counter-terrorism personnel, border patrol teams and intelligence personnel drawn from various squadrons and commands to reinforce the security agents already in the area.
Survivors of the attack who narrated their ordeal said the gunmen who arrived in the village on motorcycles, wore military uniform and were heavily armed.
But Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, has claimed injustice in the supposed link between the military to the outlawed Boko Haram sect.
In a statement, Shettima said: “As the one working with them in Borno since 2011, I know the number of military men, police men and women as well as para-military men and women, among them commanders in the military and senior police officers that sacrificed their lives in the fight against our unfortunate insurgency problems in Borno, which also obtains in some parts of Nigeria.”
Some witnesses told the Hausa Service of the BBC that over 200 persons died in the attack.
A witness explained that only 27 inhabitants of the village lost their lives in the attack while most of the victims were from neighbouring communities.
Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) zone 10, Mamman Sule, said the dead bodies found were 79.
He condemned the meeting of the vigilante group without consultation with the security agencies.
Meanwhile, Force spokesperson, Frank Mba, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), in a statement announcing the deployment of more policemen to the state, said the Air Wing of the Nigeria Police would commence aerial patrol and surveillance of the area in order to efficiently and effectively monitor the situation.
He said the new security measures were to forestall further infiltration and escape of marauders through the borders.