ZAMFARA State’s Governor Abdulaziz Yari has justified the recent Nigerian Air Force (Naf) strike on Dumburum village in Zurmi Local Government Area saying it was justified despite complaints that it led to death of numerous innocent villagers.
Earlier this month, Naf carried out a targeted bombing of the village which has become a base of armed bandits terrorising the state. However, a fortnight ago, the local Council of Chiefs alleged that innocent citizens were killed in the bombing and had asked for the Naf to apologise.
Since then, an Naf seven-man committee has been established to investigate what happened and yesterday, the team visited Governor Yari to share its findings with him. Governor Yari, who received then at his Talata-Mafara private residence, said he saw no reason to apologise as Dunburum village had served as hideout for criminals over the last three years.
He added:“As far as I am concerned and as the head of government in the state, l haven’t seen anything wrong done by the air force. Dumburum has been a criminal hideout for over three years and the Emir of Zurmi had once asked me to go and wipe out the area saying all those residing there were bandits, so l am surprised that the emir will be part of those saying innocent people were killed in an encounter in the area.
“Some people will stay in Abuja and fabricate things against the operations in Zamfara in order to distract the operation, this we must not allow. Please, all security agencies especially the air force should continue with your usual constitutional duties and the state government will give you all the support to facilitate your concentration in trying to bring back peace which has eluded the state since 2007.
“You should continue with fire power to show the criminals that there is a government in place and we won’t negotiate with them again because when we did that in the past, the leaders pretended as if all was well while they allowed their boys to continue to lay siege on the communities.”
Air Vice Marshal Idi Lubo, who heads the team, said: “The chief of air staff has directed us to properly investigate the matter in order to unravel the truth. We have visited other stakeholders and discovered that there was misinformation, which we have now resolved and wish to assure the people of the state that we shall continue to discharge our assigned responsibilities in protecting the innocent with professionalism.”