At least 45 dead bodies have been recovered, following deadly attack on Gwaska village in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State by bandits.
DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that the bodies were evacuated by the vigilantes and volunteers numbering five hundred with assistance of handful soldiers on Sunday afternoon.
Although local community leaders said 51 dead bodies were recovered, the Kaduna State Police Commissioner, Austin Iwar, told DAILY NIGERIAN that the police recovered only 45 bodies.
“Gwaska is in the middle of the forest. Even from Birnin Gwari, access to the village is very difficult.
“What is on our record so far is: 12 bodies were first recovered and buried yesterday (Saturday), and today, 33 bodies were brought to the emir’s palace. This brings the number to 45.
“I can’t say it is retaliatory attack, but preliminary investigation shows that there were issues between the Gwaska vigilante, who are very powerful, and the bandits,” the CP told DAILY NIGERIAN.
He added that security had been beefed up in the area to forestall future recurrence.
Local sources however said the bodies were earlier lined up at the palace of Emir of Birnin-Gwari for funeral prayer, but later conveyed to Doka town for the funeral rites.
“The situation is tensed, so the authorities decided that the funeral should take place out of the town.
“Security agents have barred us from coming near the bodies or taking pictures of the bodies,” said a resident, Aminu Abubakar.
Also one the volunteers said search and rescue operation was ongoing at Gwaska, saying, “death toll may rise as many bodies are likely to be found in the bush”
In a statement sent to DAILY NIGERIAN, a community organisation, Birnin-Gwari Vanguard for Security and Good Governance, appealed for calm.
“While we commend the resilience of the braved vigilantes and volunteers, we equally call on the people of Birnin-Gwari to remain calm and vigilant for peaceful burial rites of the deceased and await government response (if any) on the massacre of innocent lives and destruction of their homes by armed bandits,” the group said.