Air Force raids killed innocent civilians, Zamfara monarchs insist

The Emir of Anka Alhaji Attahiru Ahmad Muhammad has reaffirmed the Zamfara council of Chiefs allegation that innocent villagers were killed during various air raids by the Air Force across different communities in the state.

He denied the monarchs made a U-turn on the allegation as widely reported in the media.

Speaking with reporters in his palace in Anka local government area of Zamfara state on Monday, Muhammad also debunked claims the monarchs have apologized to the Air Force over the allegation.

He said the council maintained those killed were mostly innocent villagers, saying a list of casualties has been sent to the Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall Sadiq Baba Abubakar through a delegation led by AVM Lubo, which was in Zamfara state for facts finding mission.

Instead he claimed the Air Force chief, through the delegation, submitted an apology letter to the traditional rulers, arguing such collateral damages were not uncommon during military operations.

He lamented rather than taking the war to the bandits, most people have started blaming the traditional rulers for the menace.

According to him: “What we are saying is that we are not in confrontation with anybody, be it the Nigerian Air Force or any government at any level.

“But innocent people are being killed in the cause of raiding bandits. It is our duty to draw the attention of the authorities concerned so that they check on where they went wrong.”

He added: “We are custodians of respected traditional institutions. We are custodians of the people’s trust.

“We are expected to protect the positive interest of our people, we are law abiding citizens. How can any one of us engage negatively in the activities of outlaws?”

He lamented Air Force personnel do not also bother to carry out mop actions after the raids, making the bandits to return with more vicious attacks.

While advising the Air Force and the ground troops to emphasise on mop up on any area they attack, Muhammad advised the people of the state to be vigilant.

He urged the indigenes to assist security operatives with information to emerge from the shackles and buckles of banditry in the state.

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