Alhaji Hassan Attahiru, the Emir of Bungudu on behalf of chiefs in the council, says the air strikes by the Nigerian Air Force are killing innocent villagers.
Attahiru made the disclosure in Gusau, after an emergency meeting of Zamfara Council of Chiefs on Thursday, to address the state of insecurity in the state.
The council said it is receiving reports from some local governments that some of their villages are being hit by NAF’s misdirected airstrikes.
NAF had claimed that it destroyed eight bandit camps in Doumborou, Sububu, West Malamawa, Baturia Pond, Kagara Forest, Kamarawa, Kunduma and Rugu Forest areas of the state.
Addressing newsmen, Attahiru said: “The Council noted that airstrikes undertaken by the military do not hit the main camps of the bandits.
“Reports from Mutu in Gusau and Tsafe Local Government Areas, Tangaram in Anka Local Government and Dumburum in Zurmi Local Government Area, among others, are that the areas shelled were not the actual hideouts of the bandits and the victims were innocent civilians.”
Noting that the attacks by insurgent groups in the state would increase if the Air Force fails to hit the camps of the bandits, he said “the main camps of the bandits are taken over and security personnel stationed there for a considerable period of time”.
“This will deprive the bandits’ territory, mobility and supply routes, thus securing all surrounding areas,” he added.
The Council of Chiefs also responded to claim by Mansur Dan’Ali, Minister of Defence, that some traditional rulers are working with bandits in Zamfara.
They challenged the Minister to immediately name the rulers working with the bandits, stating that “failure to do this will make his statement false and an attempt to tarnish the image of the traditional rulers and thereby making them scapegoats for the inability of the military and other security forces to end the scourge”.