President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the killing of 63 vigilante members by terrorists in Kebbi State, saying security forces must do more.
He described the killing as “the brutal murder of tens of vigilante members in Kebbi State by bandits who ambushed them in the Sakaba/Wassagu Local Government Area.”
According to Buhari, in a statement issued by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, yesterday, “this egregious level of criminality is shocking and I want to assure Nigerians that I will do all it takes to tackle this monster decisively.
“My greatest preoccupation is the threat to life posed by these murderous gangs and remorseless outlaws who have no slightest regard for the sanctity of life.
“While extending my sympathy to the families of the victims of this savagery, let me use this opportunity to also call on our security forces to be more proactive and redouble their efforts in order to frustrate the operational plans of the terrorists before they even launch attacks,” the president added.
Earlier, terrorists had reportedly shot 63 members of local vigilantes dead in an ambush at Zuru area of Kebbi, North-West Nigeria.
The incident occurred on Sunday evening, according to sources.
Funeral for the victims have been held, amidst weeping and wailing.
Bandits have been declared terrorists group by the Nigerian government, as they have unleashed terror in northern Nigeria, killing and maiming thousands of people.
It was gathered that the incident took place in several towns in Kebbi State near the border with Niger State after an ambush by gunmen on a volunteer raid, which was carried out by gunmen.
A Takita resident said that when the bandits first arrived, they abducted people and animals and that the vigilante people went after them.
“They ambushed and killed about 63 people,” he said.
He said they confirmed the death toll after collecting their bodies for burial.
“The victims are from different parts of the country, including Takita and four other towns,’ he said.
A volunteer leader from Sanci, one of the affected towns, said 63 bodies had been counted from Dabai, Magajiyya, Takita and Rafin Zuru.
The Zuru Local Government Area Volunteer Commander also said that after collecting the bodies, they went to the police station where each side went to retrieve the bodies of their relatives.
“It affects the Zuru region as a whole. Every side has been affected,” he said.
He added that they were very involved in retrieving the bodies.