From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Chairman/CEO of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has described the killing of 16 Nigeria travellers in Burkina Faso as unjustifiable, callous and criminal. 

In a statement by the Head of Media and Public Relations, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, the NIDCOM chair called on the Burkinabe authorities to fish out the perpetrators and prosecute them accordingly. 

She reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to ensure “appropriate sanction”, through diplomacy, to those who were involved in the wicked killing, stressing that it was a condemnable and barbaric act.

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The NIDCOM boss joined others in comforting the families and friends of the deceased and prayed for the safety of other stranded Nigerians in the country.

“To those who were unjustifiably killed, especially as they were on spiritual pilgrimage, may Allah accept them into His martyrdom and quicken the pace of recovery of those injured survivors,” she prayed.

Some Muslim pilgrims, including 16 Nigerians, were allegedly shot and killed by Burkinabe soldiers on patrol. At a news conference on Sunday, in Abuja, the Jam’iyyatu Ansariddeen Attijaniyya of Nigeria revealed that 16 of its members were shot dead by the Burkinabe soldiers on patrol. They were reportedly on their way to the home country of their leader, Sheikhul-Islam Ibrahim Niasse, in Senegal, when they met their untimely death.

The National Secretary of the Islamic group, Sayyidi Yahaya, said the Ansaruddeen members were “randomly selected and cold-bloodedly shot to death in a most horrendous display of bestiality” after being stopped by the Burkinabe soldiers.