Gov. 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 marauders 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 District Head in one of the of the five villages, Kamalo, Munwadata, Sarwa, Runji and Masada. that were attacked during the midnight raid, was wounded.
Gov Tambuwal 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 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. May He also grant their families and relatives the fortitude to bear the losses of those who died just as we besiege Him to grant health and relief to those who sustained injuries and are recuperating at home and in the hospitals.
“We again pray to God to continue to ensure that peace prevails in all our communities and across the country.
“I, once again, urge you to be patient and prayerful. I am delighted with the communal efforts at cooperation and prayers, led by the monarchs and community leaders here, being offered for the intercession of God in bringing us peace. Please, do not relent. May Allah grant us peace and peaceful coexistence,” he prayed profusely.