Nigeria: How Bandits Abducted Many in Fresh Attack On Zamfara Community - Governor

Governor Matawalle says Ruwan Tofa villagers resisted and killed some of the bandits, who returned the following day to abduct yet an unascertained number of persons.

The Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has provided the details of the bandits' attacks on Ruwan Tofa and a neighbouring village in Maru Local Government Area of the state.

PREMIUM TIMES reported on Thursday how many residents, including women and children, were abducted in the attacks.

Speaking on the incident, Mr Matawalle, at a press briefing on Friday, refuted some reports in the media that 40 persons were killed and 60 abducted in the attacks.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy chief of staff, Bashir Maru, said residents of Ruwan Tofa, earlier resisted the bandits and killed many of them.

He said the bandits first attacked Tungar Baushe on Tuesday when they robbed many residents and stole fuel for their motorcycles. He, however, said that incident did not record any casualty.

"As they moved out of the village towards the next village of Ruwan Tofa, information reached residents of Ruwan Tofa community and they prepared for the defence of their territory.

"In the ensuing melee, the suspected armed bandits were resisted and ambushed and many of them were killed but others escaped with different degrees of injury," Mr Maru said.

"However, two persons from Ruwan Tofa sustained gunshots injuries and are recuperating in an undisclosed hospital for reason of security," the official added.

Mr Maru said the following day, on Wednesday, the bandits returned to Tungar Baushe and burnt down two vehicles loaded with grains and other valuables. However, he said no life was lost.

"Unfortunately, they abducted a number of persons, including women and children. Even as we speak, most of the abductees have since returned safely to their village.

"Concerted effort are well underway by the Zamfara State Police command surveillance unit to ascertain the exact number of those still in captivity," the official added.

"The good people of Zamfara State woke up yesterday with stunning news as carried by some media organisations, 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.

"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)?" the official said.

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