*More successes’re being recorded in war against insecurity — Buhari
*…felicitates with Muslim faithful on Eid-el-Maulud
*Charges media on proper reportage of security issues
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Ibrahim Hassan, Kaduna & Musa Na Annabi
No fewer than 40 persons were on Sunday killed by bandits at the popular and busy Goronyo market in Sokoto State.
This even as security forces killed 10 bandits hibernating around some flash points in the state and rescued one hostage.
The killings came as President Muhammadu Buhari in his Eid-el-Maulud message to Muslim faithful yesterday, said the military and other security agencies were recording greater successes in the move to combat insecurity across the country.
The bandits reportedly stormed the onion and other cash crops market at about 4:30 pm, shooting sporadically, killing over 40 persons with unspecified number of injured persons.
Speaking to Vanguard, a village head in the area who pleaded anonymity said vigilantes in the area on the day of the attack left the town in search of the attackers, not knowing that the bandits were also preparing to attack.
He said 42 dead bodies were brought to Goronyo General Hospital on the day of the attack, adding that the number of casualties was expected to rise further.
According to him, searches are still being conducted in nearby river and bushes around the town.
He said informants were responsible for the attack as, according to him, there is no way bandits would came to know that the vigilantes were not in town without someone giving them. information.
The village head called on government and security personnel to crackdown on informants living in communities.
Some villagers believed the attack was a reprisal to the happening in Mammande village of Gwadabawa Local Government Area where vigilantes killed 10 herdsmen on a similar market day.
However Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who confirmed the attack, said they were still counting the number of bodies so far killed.
He urged people of the area not to take laws into their hands, saying government and security agencies were making frantic efforts to bring the killers to justice.
The killings occurred on the day the Chief of Army Staff, who is an illustrious son of the state, visited the Sokoto for official engagement.
The latest attack is the third time in two weeks bandits have attacked a village market in Sokoto State.
Earlier this month, 20 persons were killed at Ungwan Lalle market in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of the state.
For several weeks troops have been conducting air and ground operations on bandit camps in neighbouring Zamfara State where authorities have shut down telecom services to disrupt communication between the gangs.
Bandits fleeing the military operation in Zamfara have set up camps in the Sabon Birni district from where they raid villages.
The influx of bandits from neighbouring Zamfara State prompted authorities in Sokoto to suspend weekly markets and shut down telecom towers in areas on the border with Zamfara, including Sabon Birni.
Last month, 17 Nigerian security personnel were killed when gunmen raided their base in Sabon Birni’s Dama village which the military blamed on Islamic State-aligned jihadists.
Security forces in Kaduna State kill 10 armed bandits
In a related development, security forces in Kaduna State have killed 10 armed bandits hibernating around some flash points in the state and rescued one hostage, as other bandits who fled during the encounter, left behind motorcycles and other items.
Samuel Aruwan the Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Kaduna State, who disclosed this in a statement yesterday, said: “The joint security forces came in contact with the heavily armed bandits in Kwanan Bataru, on the outskirts of Fatika in Giwa local government area and subsequently engaged them.
“In the course of the gun duel, ten of the bandits were eliminated while several others escaped with gun shot injuries.
“One Alhaji Abubakar Usman, who is likely to have been kidnapped in a neighboring state and was being held by bandits in the area, was rescued by the troops, and is being debriefed at the moment.
“The bandits, who managed to escape, left behind several motorcycles, one revolver, mobile phones, torchlights and some charms. One of the sheds used by the bandits to hold hostages was burnt.
“The governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, commended the security forces for taking out the notorious bandits. The governor wishes the troops and personnel more success in the ongoing operations across the state.
“Furthermore, the government is appealing to residents of Fatika general area to report to security agencies.’’
Military recording greater successes — Buhari
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the military and other security agencies were recording greater successes in the move to combat insecurity across the country.
He also charged the media on the need to accurately report security and safety issues by reviewing the usage of prefixes like “rising insecurity” with “declining insecurity”.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in Abuja yesterday, said President Buhari in his message to felicitate with the Muslim Ummah, Nigerians of all faiths and the followers of Islam all over the world on the occasion of the Maulud-Un-Nabiyy, gave a snapshot of increased activities the Armed Forces, Police Force, and intelligence agencies to effectively respond to the security challenges in the nation.
The President was quoted to have said that increased cooperation and collaboration from the citizenry, coupled with reinvigorated, dynamic, and energized police, security and military leadership was helping the administration score more victories against terror, criminality, and economic sabotage.
He said the reality of declining insecurity should replace the inaccurate narrative of rising insecurity in the country.
According to him, “while there is work to do, the men and women in uniform who are helping the nation to achieve this goal, desire our collective appreciation and encouragement to do even more. The whole country and its mass communications systems have a duty in this regard.”
President Buhari said the government fully expected and intended for these trends to continue, and called on the media to address the tone, content, and standards of reporting security and safety measures.
He said, time had come for media to revise the prefixes “rising insecurity” with “declining insecurity.”
President celebrates with muslims on Eid-el-Maulud
In his felicitation with the Muslim Ummah to mark the Eid-el-Maulud, which had been declared a public holiday throughout the federation, President Buhari said: “I am delighted to send greetings of peace, unity and goodwill to the Muslim Ummah, fellow citizens and Muslims all over the world as they observe and celebrate Eid-ul- Maulud.”
He urged Muslims to strive for “forgiveness and closeness to the noble life and teachings of the Prophet (SAW) whose birthday is being marked on this blessed day.
“On this auspicious occasion, I wish you all the blessings of today.”