By Shuaib Sadiq
Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, on Sunday in Gusau, expressed shock at the killing of 13 police officers by suspected bandits.
The police personnel were gunned down at a mobile camp in Kurar Mota community in the Bagudu Local Government Area of the state.
The governor’s reaction is contained in a statement by Malam Yusuf Idris, Director-General, Media, Public Enlightenment and Communications, Government House, Gusau.
The statement said Matawalle expressed “devastation“ when he visited seven injured police officers who were receiving treatment at the Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, Gusau.
“It was on receipt of the news of the unfortunate incident that the governor … immediately rushed to the hospital to sympathise with those currently receiving treatment at the facility.
“While lamenting the attack, Matawalle promised to partner with other security agencies in the state to track down the attackers and all their sponsors and collaborators with a view to bringing them to justice.
“The police officers were ambushed at a mobile police camp set up as part of the measures taken by the government to fight bandits in the state.
“Matawalle, who was highly devastated by the sad incident, said the troops are doing very well at the war front … and had decimated the number of insurgents in the area,” the statement said.
It said the governor would make the attack his major priority until the perpetrators are apprehended or a good level of success made towards their arrest.
Meanwhile, the Zamfara Police Command had confirmed the killing of the 13 officers with seven others injured by the attackers.
SP Mohammed Shehu, the command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), gave the confirmation in a separate statement issued on Sunday.
“The attack occurred on Sunday at about 1230hrs, when Police Mobile operatives deployed at Kurar Mota Village were responding to a distress call with regards to an attempt by the bandits to attack some nearby communities.
“The police personnel, who ran into the ambush, exhibited resilience and gallantry by engaging the hoodlums, an effort that deterred the bandits from attacking the communities.
“Unfortunately, 13 personnel paid the supreme price. However, the bandits on their part suffered heavy casualties,” Shehu said.
According to the PPRO, the command had launched a manhunt aimed at apprehending the bandits.
“The Zamfara State Police Command has reaffirmed its commitment and determination to sustain its ongoing operation against the activities of recalcitrant bandits and other criminal elements in the state.
“A Special Anti-Banditry Operation is currently ongoing with a view to tracking down the assailants.
“The Commissioner of Police, Hussaini Rabiu, while visiting the injured policemen at the hospital reaffirmed that the unfortunate incident will not discourage the officers and men of the command from discharging their mandate of protecting lives and property of citizens.
“The Police Commissioner called on every law abiding citizen to join hands with security agencies to successfully end the menace,” the statement said.