Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday described the killing of 30 soldiers, seven mobile policemen and two civilians in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State last Wednesday by terrorists as a direct assault on Nigeria, vowing that the attackers would not go unpunished.
The security agents were ambushed by the terrorists on their way to a mining site in Shiroro, in response to a distress call. Several Chinese and Nigerian nationals were also abducted at the site.
President Buhari also said his government would do everything possible to ensure the return of those abducted.
Buhari in a statement by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, titled, “President Buhari: Attack on Shiroro is an attack on Nigeria herself. It will not go unpunished,” declared that wherever the perpetrators of the dastardly act may be, the long hands of the law would catch up with them.
He said: “And to the sadists, I say this: we are coming. No matter what rock you crawl under, what hole you sink into, what lie you hide behind, we are coming and we will find you. Shiroro will see justice. Nigeria will know peace.”
President Buhari paid tributes to the gallant men of the security forces who lost their lives in the process of defending the attack.
He said: “We honour our security forces, and particularly those brave souls who have given their lives fighting against the evil that is terrorism. They constitute the best that Nigeria has to offer and we remember each of them.
“Sadly, Nigeria’s fight against terrorism continues. It is a battle that is taking its toll on all of us. But we shall not relent, nor shall we surrender.
“We say it again that we have reduced Boko Haram to a shell of its former self. But terrorists are parasites. They thrive when the world is suffering.
“This atrocity only serves to further strengthen us against them. Nigeria is united in obliterating these demons. Each day we grow closer to that goal. When they lash out during times of global suffering it is the act of a cornered animal, an act of desperation.
“As always, their goal is the same: to sow fear and division amongst us. We will not let them.
“Instead let us pray for the families and loved ones of those who sacrificed their lives in the fight against evil, and let us pray for the safe and speedy return of those abducted. We will do everything possible to ensure their return.”
Army Confirms Attack
Army spokesperson, Onyema Nwachuckwu, confirmed the attack in Shiroro in a statement last Thursday.
He said: “On Wednesday 29 of June 2022, troops of the Nigerian Army deployed in Shiroro general area responded to a distress call about bandits’ attack on people operating in a mining site. Enroute the location, the troops ran into an ambush tagged by the criminal elements. Sadly, a number of personnel paid the supreme price in the fierce firefight that ensued.
“Subsequently, the location has been reinforced and troops are on the trail of the criminals with some already neutralised. The GOC 1 Division has moved to the location to take charge of the follow up operations.
“The NA notes that some clips of the incident have surfaced online and wish to encourage well-meaning Nigerians to exercise some restraint in posting images of such occurrence, mindful that our brothers and sisters who may have lost their breadwinners deserve to be properly notified and not to get such information via the media. We mention this, mindful of the inalienable rights of citizens to use the social media which is respected.”
Army Chief Vows to Apprehend Terrorists
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Faruk Yahaya, yesterday, vowed to bring to justice terrorists behind the attack on his men in Shiroro, Niger State.
The army chief spoke while addressing newsmen at Mogadishu Cantonment Juma’at Mosque prayer in commemoration of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration, (NADCEL) 2022 and the 159 years of its existence.
He said: “We are not deterred by any challenge from all those criminals. As we speak, we are on their trail and we will and I say we will get those criminals in Niger and other areas throughout the country.
“We are celebrating 159 years of the existence of the Nigerian Army. It is time to reflect on our performance and look back with pride to appreciate the contributions and sacrifices of the officers and the men of the Nigerian Army over the years as a key instrument of national unity and security of the country.