By Dirisu Yakubu
Death toll in the weekend armed bandits’ attack on Gwaska community in Birnin-Gwari Local Government of Kaduna State has hit 58, with more bodies recovered from the town and surrounding environs.
Meanwhile, former governor of the state and a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has condemned the killings. He warned that the situation could degenerate into a breakdown of law and order should government fail to restore normalcy in the days ahead. Makarfi lamented what he called the helplessness of the security agencies in taming the security challenges in parts of the country, even as he called for more security men and materials to tackle the menace. Emir appeals for vigilance Also, the Emir of Birnin-Gwari, Alhaji Zubairu Gwari, who disclosed the latest figure in a chat with PRNigeria commended the local vigilante groups and security agencies in the search and evacuation efforts, adding that more people are still missing. The traditional ruler also appealed to members of his community to be calm and exercise patience andurged them to be more vigilant and cooperate with the security agencies towards tackling the menace of armed bandits in the area.
FG to establish permanent battalion in Birnin Gwari Meanwhile, the Kaduna State government and President Muhammadu Buhari have reacted to the dastardly attacks in Birnin-Gwari axis. A statement by Governor Nasir el-Rufai’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, said President Buhari had approved the establishment of a permanent battalion of the Nigerian Army in the Birnin Gwari general area. The creation of a Birnin Gwari Police Area Command and two new Divisional Police Headquarters has also been announced by the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris. The statement read: “The Kaduna State Government received with sadness reports of the murder of our citizens by armed bandits in Birnin Gwari.
The government has sent a message of condolence to the people of Birnin Gwari Emirate. “Kaduna State Government is deeply committed to overcoming the unfortunate criminality and banditry being carried out against innocent citizens in Birnin Gwari council. “The engagements between the state and Federal Governments have yielded results. President Buhari has approved the establishment of a permanent battalion of the Nigerian Army in the Birnin Gwari general area. “The new security arrangements also involve policing. The Inspector General of Police has already announced the creation of the Birnin Gwari Police Area Command and two new Divisional Police Headquarters.
“The State Emergency Management Agency has also been directed to provide relief materials with immediate effect to the affected communities.” Killings must stop or….— Makarfi On his part, Makarfi believes that government exists principally to provide security to the people; failure to rise up to this responsibility is, therefore, a recipe for anarchy, which we can ill- afford now. He said: “Governments at all level as well as agencies responsible must therefore, restore people’s confidence by doing all it takes to not only secure the area and others so afflicted, but also ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book. While commiserating with the Emir of Birnin Gwari, the Kaduna State governor and families of those who lost their lives, the PDP Presidential hopeful prayed God to grant the dead eternal rest