Police in Nigeria have confirmed reports that another air strike by the military that was targeting insurgents has killed at least 27 pastoralists in Nigeria’s North Central Nasarawa state. A similar strike in December 2022 killed 64 civilians.
The latest incident happened in Rukubi community in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State January 24, 2023 at night. The Spokesman of Nasarawa State Police Command Ramhan Nansel confirmed the incident.
The strike, according to sources, was targeted at suspected bandits who have been terrorising residents along the border areas linking Nasarawa and Benue states.
Nansel said police command was working in collaboration with other security agencies and the state government to unravel the circumstances that led to the bombing, and arrest the perpetrators of the act.
Police probing incident
“It is unfortunate that such a thing happened. Twenty-seven of the herdsmen were killed after a bomb exploded in Doma LGA. The police and other security agencies are working round the clock to understand what led to the attack and track down those involved in the act,” he stated.
Reacting to the incident, Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule vowed to ensure that those behind the killings of the herdsmen are apprehended and made to face the law.
The governor urged all Fulani people across the state to remain calm, saying that the state government was working with the Benue State government to find a lasting solution to the incessant attacks on the people along the Nasarawa-Benue borders.
He added that security operatives had been deployed to curtail any further breakdown of law and order in the area.
“On behalf of the state government, I want to sympathise with the Fulani people across the state over the killings of their people by an unknown bomber. I want to assure them of the state government’s commitment to unravel the perpetrators of such act so as to face the full wrath of the law,” he added.
Condemned the attack
Speaking on the incident, the Chairman of Doma LGA Ahmed Sarki-Usman condemned the attack in its entirety.
“It must be the activity of some bad elements in the area. The act is capable of causing unrest in the LGA but I particularly want to thank the Fulani people for being calm and allowing the government and security agencies to handle the issue. I assure them that we will get to the root of the matter,” he said.
Ardo Lawal Dano, the State Chairman of Miyetti Allah Kautal Horai, expressed shock over the bombing that killed his kinsmen.
He appealed to the federal and state governments to come to their aid in order to arrest those involved in the act, calm the situation and restore normalcy in the area.
“The Fulani people are law-abiding citizens. We don’t like trouble, so let the government address the situation because we are really pained [for] losing our loved ones,” he added.
At least 64 civilians including women and children were killed in Zamfara state in Nigeria’s North West in military air strikes targeted at bandits on December 18, 2022.
The airstrike by a military plane at Mutumji Community in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State killed the civilians who were being used as human shields by bandits who were fleeing from the strike.
The military reported it had started investigating the killing of the 64 civilians.
The then director of Defence Media Operations, Maj-Gen Musa Danmadami, maintained that the airstrikes were targeted solely at bandits who invaded the area in their hundreds on motorcycles.
The military is yet to respond to the latest incident.