President Muhammadu Buhari last night in Abuja condemned the murder of 19 persons by unknown gunmen in Tawari community in Kogi State. This was as the State Governor, Yahaya Bello directed security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the attack and bring them to book.
A statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, said Buhari remarked that “there is no excuse or justification for killing innocent people by anybody or group, and for whatever motive.” He further quoted the president as saying, “The killings and revenge killings will only aggravate the cycle of violence, creating neither safety nor security for any side.
“People should avoid taking the law into their own hands because doing so could make a bad situation worse and undermine the government’s efforts to tackle security challenges. “I am gravely worried about frequency and temptation of using violence to settle disputes instead of following lawful and amicable means to avoid needless destruction of lives and property.”
Bello gave the directive to fish out the killers in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed, in Lokoja; where he asked the security agencies to swing into action and ensure that those who carried out the dastardly act face the law. The governor, who condemned the attack, warned that anyone nursing the ambition of causing crisis in the state would have himself or herself to blame. He, therefore, urged the people to be calm and law abiding, assuring them that his administration was determined to flush out bandits and criminals out of the state.
The Kogi State Police Command has also given an update on Thursday’s night attack saying about 28 houses and vehicles were razed by the gunmen in Tawari community, located near Gegu on Lokoja-Abuja Road. The Police Public Relations Officer for the command, Williams Anya, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria in a telephone interview.
Anya, who also disclosed that some lives were lost during the attack, said the Commissioner of Police, Ede Ayuba Ekpeji, had visited the community for on-the-spot assessment. He also said the CP had deployed Special Police Force and Police Tactical Squad, led by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, to immediately unravel those behind the heinous act with a view to bringing them to book.
Anya said a police assessment team had visited the community, adding that many buildings, including places of worship, including the palace of the Akuma of Tawari were burnt down by the invaders, who were up to 100 in number. Tawari community is a few kilometres off Gegu town along the Lokoja-Abuja highway.
The king of Tawari, Chief Idris Yusuf, who spoke to NAN on telephone, confirmed the incident, saying it was the first time the community was experiencing such attack. “This is the first time we are witnessing such deadly attack in our community. Our community has been very peaceful,” he said.