*speaks on reports of more killings, abduction
By Nasir Muhammad Gusau
Zamfara government debunked some media reports about the abduction of 60 and killing of 40 persons at Ruwan Tofa village of Maru local government area of the state.
This was made known in a press briefing by the Deputy Chief of Staff at Government House in Gusau, Dr. Bashir Muhammad.
“The people of Zamfara State woke up yesterday with stunning news as carried by some media organizations both electronic and online that bandits have attacked Ruwan Tofa village of Maru Local Government Area and abducted 60 people.
“A certain online newspaper went further to report that the bandits also killed 40 people in the said attack. Gentlemen of the Press, nothing could be farther from the truth than this fabricated information.” He explained.
“The true account of what happened was that a group of suspected armed bandits arrived Tungar Baushe on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, this week and sought to fuel their motorcycles through act of intimidation and coercion, which they did and took along with them food, drugs, water, soft drinks and thereafter left without recording any casualty.
“ As they moved out of the village towards the next village of Ruwan Tofa, information spread-out and the Ruwan Tofa community prepared defense of their territory and in the ensuing melee a large number of the suspected armed bandits were resisted and ambushed and many of the incursors were killed and others escaped with different degree of injuries. Two people from Ruwan Tofa sustained gunshots injuries and are recuperating in an undisclosed hospital.
“However, the suspected armed bandits were not done, and the following day, Wednesday 3rd March, 2021, they returned to Tungar Baushe. Authoritative sources reported that the bandits attacked the village and burnt down two vehicles loaded with grains and other valuables but no life was lost. Unfortunately, they abducted number of persons including women and children. Gentlemen of the Press, even as we speak, most of the abductees have since returned safely to their village. Concerted efforts are well underway by the Zamfara State Police command surveillance unit to ascertain the exact number of those still in captivity”.
“It is therefore unfortunate that some media organizations, without proper investigation and confirmation went ahead to published fabricated accounts dished out to them by enemies of peace in the state. It is worthy to ask yourselves as media practitioners why those who gave you the false information of 40 people killed by the bandits (which in itself is blatantly false) refused to give you the information of the bandits killed by sheer efforts of the resilient people of Ruwan Tofa (which in itself is the truth)”.
“Another issue of topical importance is a recent arrest by the Military of an Army officer and his girlfriend who are engaged in assisting bandits with Military uniforms and ammunitions in active connivance with other saboteurs.”
This arrest was only made possible through community driven intelligence. While the state Government awaits the action the Military will take on this matter and make an official statement, the development has further proved the position of Governor Bello Mohammed that unless the fight against banditry is cleansed of bad eggs and saboteurs, we may not record the desired success in the fight. Let me use this medium to salute the courage and patriotism of the individual who came forward with information that led to the arrest of these traitors. Our gratitude knows no bound”.