Nigeria’s security agencies have recovered 66 bodies, including those of 22 children and 12 women, killed in attacks carried out by gunmen on various dispersed hamlets in Northern Kaduna state.
The Kaduna state government confirmed that the people were killed in the attacks carried out on Friday evening in the Maro Gida and Iri axis of Kajuru Local government.
The settlements affected are Ruga Bahago, Ruga Daku, Ruga Ori, Ruga Haruna, Ruga Yukka Abubakar, Ruga Duni Kadiri, Ruga Shewuka and Ruga Shuaibu Yau.
Four wounded persons rescued by the security agencies are now receiving medical attention.
The federal government has condemns the attacks and commiserated with the families of the victims.
President Muhammadu Buhari said he was “pained beyond words” by the new wave of killings on election eve in Kaduna State.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, described the incident as an “act of cowardice”.
He assured that security forces would investigate and apprehend all those involved and gave the assurance that the perpetrators of the mayhem would not go unpunished.
“Security agencies have been deployed to the area and arrests have been made.
“Government urges community, traditional and religious leaders in the area to encourage residents to avoid any reprisal attacks and to leave the matter in the hands of the security and law enforcement agencies.
“The killings are being investigated and residents are assured that indicted persons will be prosecuted.’’
Residents of Kaduna State were enjoined to uphold peace and harmony, shun violence and allow the elections to be held in an atmosphere of calm.
The president said this action would not distract the nation from the elections which was to start on Saturday but now shifted to February 23.
The government, he said, was determined to foil the designs of those who were bent on disrupting the planned elections.