President Muhammadu condemned the attack and expressed sympathy to the grieving families after at least 40 vigilante personnel were killed by insurgents at Yargoje forest in Jibia, Katsina State.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families in this difficult period. May Allah repose the soul of the deceased,” Buhari said in a statement signed on Sunday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.
The statement is titled ‘President Buhari condemns horrific terrorist attack on Katsina Vigilantes.’
Acting on the tip-off, the vigilantes traced the hoodlums to Gidan Gambo village in Kankara Local Government Area, where 340 school boys were abducted in December 2020.
However, some locals in border communities between Bakori and Kankara who are loyal to the insurgents informed them that the vigilantes were on their trail.
The vigilantes were then ambushed, with 41 killed and two others injured, the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isah, revealed.
According to Gambo, those killed were members of the outlawed Yansakai (volunteers) group from 11 villages in Bakori Local Government Area.
Bodies of the deceased were still being recovered as of Saturday evening, eyewitnesses said.
Nigeria’s northwestern state of Katsina has been the hotbed of terrorist attacks in recent years, with farmers being the worst hit.
The Maize Association of Nigeria said it lost about 60 farmers to terrorist attacks in 2021 alone.
Although the President has several times ordered the Armed Forces to seek and prosecute the terrorists perpetrating the killings, the attacks persist.