From Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state on Wednesday led members of the state executive and security councils, as well as other top government officials on a condolence visit to the people of Illela, a border town about 97 kilometers from the state capital.
Armed men had attacked the town and some villages near it in the wee hours Monday, at first instance killing thirteen people. However, at the time of the Governor’s visit Wednesday afternoon the toll has risen to 43.
A village Head in one of the of the five villages, Kalmalo, Munwadata, Sarma, Runji, tunbulunkun, tafkin taramniya and Masasa that were attacked during the midnight raid, was wounded.
The governor during the visit to Illela town told his bereaved audience that: “We’re here to, on behalf of the government and good people of our dear state, to extend our heartfelt condolences on this unfortunate incident which claimed the lives of many of our citizens.
“This is not a small occurrence. It is upsetting,” he stated, emphasizing that: “this incident really touched us.”
He, however, commended the local government authorities, monarchs and community leaders for their lawful composition of a volunteer group working in tandem with the security operatives in the area.
He said the state government “will continue to frown upon the constitution of illegitimate volunteers,” pointing out that “the joint operations of legitimately constituted volunteers, who work closely with and under the supervision of security agencies, is the appropriate antidote to this crisis.
He appealed to the people of the area not to be daunted by the recent attack. “Instead, it should motivate you all to redouble your efforts, without seeking revenge, in securing your communities,” he said.
The Governor also assured them of sustained government assistance “whenever required”, while praying for the repose of the souls of the deceased. We, therefore, pray that God grant them eternal glory and forgive their shortcomings and sins while they were alive.” He said.
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