Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, Monday visited communities in Igabi and Giwa local government areas that suffered fatal attacks by bandits on Sunday, where he assured the people that there would be no negotiations with bandits.
This was coming as President Muhammadu Buhari sent a strong warning to the killers, saying the Federal Government was determined to frustrate and defeat the criminals.
El-Rufai, who condoled the people of Kerawa, Zariyawa, Hashimawa, Wazata and other communities in Igabi and Giwa local government areas, affirmed that the proper response to the criminals is a sustained offensive by security agencies.
The governor expressed sadness over the loss of lives and commended the security agencies for tracing and neutralising the bandits.
“The situation is tragic, sad and pathetic. In this village alone 41 corpses were buried, according to the Imam. In the other villages, two or three were attacked. Bandits attacked these villages, needlessly, killed people and properties were destroyed. The security agencies were able to attack them both from the ground and air and most of the bandits were wiped out.
“I am very grateful to the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Army, Civil Defence, Nigeria Police, as well as the SSS for being vigilant. It’s sad that we have lost many lives, but it would have been worse if the security agencies had not responded quickly. We came here to condole with the people and appeal to them to be patient and cooperate with the security agencies.
“As people placed in government the responsibility to protect these people lies squarely on my shoulders and my colleagues,” El-Rufai said at Kerawa village.
The governor, who insisted that the government would not negotiate with bandits, said: “In Kaduna State, we have zero tolerance for bandits. We don’t give them amnesty; we don’t negotiate with them. We asked the security agencies to just wipe them out. This banditry should be declared an insurgency and they should be fought in the same way as the Boko Haram. There’s no room for any negotiation or treaty. No room for negotiation with any bandits.
“We are hoping that this banditry will end because the security agencies are taking the war to the bandits. We are doing our best and will continue to our best. Our people need to be patient and continue to pray for us. Only God is perfect. I know the security agencies are doing their best.”
The governor was accompanied on the condolence tour by the GOC, Division 1 of the Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, Commissioner of Police, Umaru Muri, Director of State Services, Idris Koya, Secretary to the State Government, Balarabe Abbas Lawal and other senior officials.
Meanwhile, the Presidency has expressed deep sadness and regret over the latest bandits attack in Kaduna State that killed several people and left many injured.
Buhari, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said from reports received, it’s obvious that bandits were unleashing their fury and frustration on innocent people because of the ongoing military and police offensive against them in the Birnin Gwari and Kaduru forests.
The statement added that the Buhari administration would not be blackmailed by criminals to abandon the current military operations against them.
The President assured the people of Kaduna State and other parts of the country that this government would continue to deploy all available resources to fight these cold-hearted bandits with a view to bringing them to their knees.
The President expressed profound commiserations to the victims of this heinous attack in Kaduna State and warned the bandits strongly.
“These criminals should make no mistake that they can establish a reign of terror on the people without feeling the full might of the government which was elected to protect the citizens.
“The criminals cannot be lucky always. We are determined to frustrate and defeat them, and no matter how long they run or where they hide, they would be smoked out and brought to justice,” Buhari vowed.
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