Governor Nasiru Ahmad El Rufa’i of Kaduna State Monday vowed to rout out bandits from the state, saying he would not negotiate with terrorists.
The governor, who spoke against the backdrop of Sunday night’s killing of over people in Giwa and Igabi Local Government Areas by bandits, was told by the locals who lost their loved ones in the attack that casualty figure from the invasion was more than 50.
A visibly disturbed El-Rufa’i reiterated that there would be no negotiations with bandits, as the dead were Monday buried according to Islamic rites.
“Nasir El Rufai has visited the invaded communities which include Kerewa, Ungwan Musa and Zariyawa, among others.
“He says but for the intervention by security personnel on land and in the air, the situation would have been worse.
“El Rufai says his government is not and will never negotiate with bandits. He advocates their prompt elimination when they are identified. The locals say the bandits came on Sunday morning heavily armed.”
Meanwhile, Alhaji Ibrahim, representing the troubled communities in the House of Representatives, has sought the intervention of the Federal Government in Igabi west.
He told the BBC Hausa Service that the area and other parts of the state were in a state of emergency because bandits often killed indiscriminately in the area.
”Buhari should come to our rescue, we need Federal Government’s intervention,” he said.
Bandits had on Sunday attacked Kerewa village in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, killing over 50.
A Voice of America, VOA, Hausa Service report monitored by journalists in Kaduna, said even newborn babies, Almajiris and others were not spared by the gunmen.
The report indicated that Kerawa village had for long, suffered untold hardships in the hands of kidnappers.
A native who was interviewed in the report said there was heavy presence of the police in the area after the carnage.
He alleged that while the attack was on, an aircraft presumably on reconnaissance duty was sighted hovering above the sky.
A local had said: “innalillahiwa inna ilaihrrajiun (Muslim prayer for the dead)…what happened was unprecedented… we have never seen that kind of horror in our lives…”
“These killers are Boko Haram. They stormed our village killing indiscriminately… they spared nobody… the young, the old, even Almajiris were not spared.
“They continued to shoot people, setting fire on the dead and on property. It was extremely horrific!
“They went from one room to the other, a man and his children were killed, even new born babies.
“We have over 50 dead now, we are yet to bury them. It will take hours to bury the dead. We are appealing to the Federal Government to please, pay attention to the situation in Igabi Local Government Area, especially Igabi West.
“This situation is beyond their power…they will do nothing, President Buhari should come to our rescue…. Please deploy security agents that can do this work…those earlier stationed here never stayed ….”
“We all must die one day and returned to Almighty Allah…even the bandits were saying so. The government should fear Allah…we are in a terrible situation. If we start this funeral now, we will not finish till midnight…we saw a plane… But it just passed like it was flying to Makkah.
“These killers are not just bandits…. they are Boko Haram…they did not steal anything, they just killed and burnt peoples’ belongings.”
Reacting to the attack Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari warned criminal elements, especially the bandits attacking innocent people, that they would be lucky always.
President Buhari also commiserated with the victims of the heinous attack in Kaduna State that claimed the lives of many and warned that those behind the attack would be fished out and brought to justice.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in Abuja last night, quoted President Buhari as saying: “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.”
According to the statement, the President expressed deep sadness and regret over the latest Kaduna bandits’ attack that killed several people and left many injured.
It said: “From reports received, it is obvious that these bandits are 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.
“This administration would not be blackmailed by criminals to abandon the current military operations against them.”
Buhari 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.
He said: “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.”
While expressing profound commiserations to the victims of the attack, the President sent a strong warning to the killers, saying that their days were numbered.