Sultan finally breaks silence on Sokoto killings

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar IV, has asked security operatives to “fish out” the bandits who raided communities in Sokoto and killed over 70 people.

Five villages in Sabon Birni local government area of Sokoto were attacked on Wednesday and more than 70 people were killed.

Speaking when Abubakar Sadiq, chief of air staff, paid him a courtesy visit at his palace on Saturday, the monarch said the level of insecurity in the country has grown from bad to worse.

“People can no longer go about their normal businesses in Nigeria.  Insecurity has gotten to the point that you will be in your house and somebody will just come and pick you up,” he said.

“You just can’t imagine how people could be this callous to take away lives without even taking anything from them. The first and foremost job of any leader is to protect the lives and properties of his people.

“I think there is something behind it.  In the last couple of years, banditry has gone from bad to worse in Nigeria. We have to find out what has gone wrong.  What are these bandits after?  What do they stand to gain?

“We are ready to support the arms forces to achieve the desired success. Follow bandits to anywhere they are and kill them. We must protect our people at all cost.”

On how best to ensure such security is guaranteed, sultan advocated adequate funding of the nation’s security agencies.

“The federal government must equip the armed forces even if it needs using the whole budget  of the country. We must equip our armed forces because its the most important thing to do.  We must continue to give information in confidence,” he said.

“Unless we wake up as a country and equip our forces to the highest level, we will continue to have these challenges.

“Our forces need the minimum logistics but I am very sure we do not have them in good numbers. We need massive recruitment, massive training and equipment. Nigeria armed forces don’t have the equipment to deal with all terrains.”

Speaking on the relevance of Sadiq’s visit, sultan said the state is very pleased to receive him and his team, hence its prompt response to the plight of the people.

“We want to thank you most sincerely for responding to our calls very quickly. The last attack on Sokoto was very pathetic that we lost 74 innocent people just like that. The visit will give a lot of hope to the hapless citizens that they have real not been left on their own,” he said.

Sadiq said he visited Sokoto to reassess the operations and determine how much support the air force needs to render in the north-west.

“We are going to commence operations in Sokoto. It covers, Katsina, Niger, and Nasarawa states,” he said.

“We are going to commence  a lot of military flight activities here.  We are appealing to the people of Sokoto state to give us all the needed assistance so that the activities of these criminality will be brought to an end as soon as possible.”

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