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Shiroro massacre: Niger APC Chieftain Vatsa calls for probe of ownership of mining site

As the death toll of soldiers and mobile policemen killed in last week Wednesday deadly attack at a mining site in Ajata Aboki in Shiroro local government area of Niger state by gunmen rise to 34 and eight respectively, a former Commissioner for Information, culture and Tourism and Chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Niger State, Mr. Jonathan Vatsa, has called for an immediate investigation into the ownership of the private mining site and the circumstances that led to the massacre of the Nigerian soldiers and Mobile policemen.

The former Commissioner in a statement in Minna on Sunday to condemned what he called “the senseless and gruesome murder” of 34 soldiers, eight mobile policemen and local vigilantes by gunmen, said Nigerians will want to know the real owner of the mining site and who ordered the deployment of the soldiers and mobile policemen to provide security for a private mining site.

“To the best of my knowledge, it is only the Commander-In-Chief that has the exclusive right to order the deployment of troop to anywhere. So did Mr. President know about the deployment of these soldiers to provide security to a private mining site being operated by Chinese Nationals in the state”, he queried.

According to the former publicity secretary of the ruling APC in the state, it is in good authority that the private mining site has being in existence in Ajata Aboki for the past five years, undertaking a large scale mining, and has remained heavily guarded by security agents, including local vigilantes.

He said it is sad that the highly trained and respected Nigerian soldiers are being used to provide security for individuals private businesses, adding that this is a clear departure from their constitutional role of defending the country territory against external aggression.

While sympathizing with the Military authority and the immediate families of those killed in the attack, Vatsa pointed out that the growing level of Insecurity in the country is a bad advertisement for the current government at all levels which seems to have lost focus in everything.

“It is sad that after almost eight years in power, we are unable to find solution to the Insecurity in the country and by extension failed in our primary responsibility to protect Nigerians. Everything have fallen apart and nobody is proving the required leadership at all levels.

“We are now more interested in 2023 elections than the lives of Nigerians that we expect them to vote for us in 2023. This us amount to taking Nigerians for granted. I am deeply saddened”.

Meanwhile the General Officer Commanding 1 Mechanized Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna Major General Ali Keffi has paid on the spot assessment visit to the scene of last Wednesday attack for his first hand information of the murder of the soldiers.

The GOC, accompanied by other top military officers from the division, was lead to Ajata Aboki community in Shiroro local government by the Brigade Commander, 31 field artillery brigade, Minna, Brigadier General Y. Yahaya to visit the area on Saturday afternoon.

The death toll from the attack has now risen to 48 after a body of a mobile policeman was discovered by a passerby local around a nearby bush, few meters from scene of the gun battle.

The breakdown shows that 34 soldiers, eight mobile policeman and six local vigilantes were killed in the attack.


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