President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria announced Monday the creation of a new Nigerian Army battalion in Kaduna State, in response to a weekend attack on the village of Birnin Gwari that left 45 people dead.
“I am deeply outraged by this unwarranted, unprovoked and reckless destruction of lives by bandits who belong to the lowest level of civilization,” Buhari said in a statement. “I feel the pains and devastation of the families of the victims, and this administration will do everything possible to ensure we defeat these enemies of humanity.”
Bandits on motorcycles swarmed the village at about 2:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, and immediately began killing residents and burning down homes, according to regional police commander Austin Iwar.
Some victims were believed to be members of a vigilante organization created to protect the community from bandit attacks that are increasingly common to the Kaduna region. Birnin Gwari has seen similar incidents but this one escalated into the worst in its history.
The new battalion, along with a new police area command, is the latest in a series of law enforcement measures to ensure more effective protection in Kaduna as well as Benue, Taraba, Zamfara and Nasarawa states, Buhari said.
“These persistent killings are not spontaneous; there are subterranean forces with a sinister agenda to instigate war in the country for selfish purposes,” he added. “Although unconventional war is particularly complicated, our security forces are making rigorous efforts to better understand these enemies with a view to decisively checkmating their evil attacks.”
Image: Presidency Nigeria