THE Emir of Anka, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmad Muhammad, has reaffirmed the Zamfara State Council of Chiefs’ stance on allegations of killing of innocent villagers during air raids by Air Force jets across different communities.
The emir stated this in his palace in Anka Local Government Area in an interactive session with reporters while reacting to media reports that the council has apologised to the Air Force.
The emir said the council had not in any way rescinded its claims over the killings.
He also insisted that the list of casualties was authentic and had been submitted to the Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall Sadiq Baba Abubakar, through an Air Force delegation led by AVM Idi Lubo, who was in the state for a fact-finding mission.
The emir said Air Marshall Abubakar, through his delegation, revealed that collateral damages were not uncommon during military operations.
Muhammad said instead of all and sundry to take the war on bandits personal, “most people started blaming emirs”.
“What we are saying is that we are not in confrontation with anybody, be it the 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 concern, so that they check on where they went wrong.”
The emir explained that the last news briefing held by the council of chiefs about two weeks ago was to exonerate themselves from the allegations levelled against the emirs by the Minister of Defence Lt. General Mansur Dan Ali (retd) that some of the emirs were assisting the bandits.
“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 anyone of us engage negatively in the activities of outlaws?” he queried.
Advising the Air Force and the ground troops to emphasis on mop up on any area they attack, the monarch advised the people to be vigilant and assist security operatives with information and every necessary assistance to end banditry.