Mr. Abubakar Sani Bello, Governor of Niger State, has condemned the recent killings of 17 worshipers in a mosque in Baari village in the state’s Mashegu Local Government Area last week and has urged residents to work with security agencies to apprehend the perpetrators.
Last week, 17 worshipers were slaughtered in cold blood during early morning Muslim prayers, while eight others were seriously injured and rushed to Kontagora General Hospital for treatment.
Governor Bello, who visited the community on Monday on a fact-finding mission, blamed the incident on bandits, but said the people should find the perpetrators so that the law can take its course.
“I have decided to come and see what has happened, get first-hand information so that we can plan how to stop such things from happening in the future” Bello said, adding that “it is unfortunate that people are being attacked while saying their prayers early in the morning.”
Ms. Mary Noel Berje, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, made a statement on the visit available to newsmen in Minna yesterday, and it quoted Bello as urging members of the community to give peace a chance and to seek out people with questionable character among them.
“I understand that it is the work of bandits probably with the connivance of some locals. So I call on the community members to pay attention to their neighbours and to be very observant about what is going on around them”
Bello also urged them to “work out modalities on how to fish out the bad eggs among them in order to assist security agencies in containing the situation,” emphasizing that “there cannot be a successful attack without an insider.”
The governor, on the other hand, assured the people that the government would not rest on its laurels in devising measures to prevent a recurrence, expressing confidence that the Commission of Inquiry he had previously established would conduct a thorough investigation.
According to reports, 17 people were killed, eight were injured, and 19 others were kidnapped and taken into hiding while praying in the mosque last week.
Mazakuka stated that the whereabouts of those kidnapped are unknown, and that some of those injured are currently receiving treatment at the General Hospital Kontagora, while others have been referred to Kebbi State for treatment.