Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle on Saturday said the state of insecurity in the state is worsening at an alarming rate.
He made the remark after confirming the bandit attack on Kadawa village, Zurmi Local Government Area in a special broadcast on Democracy Day.
According to the Governor, the bandits killed “many innocent people.”
Locals told Channels Television the toll had risen as high as 70 as of Saturday afternoon.
“I feel saddened by this unfortunate and barbaric act of cowardice,” he said. “With a heavy heart, I convey my condolences on behalf of my family and the entire people of the State over this massacre.
“In recent weeks, the act of banditry has reverted to the ugly dimensions it had prior to the coming of my administration. The marauders kill without regard for any rules of sanity. Women, the elderly, and children are not spared. As a result, a large number of people have been displaced in nearly every town in the State.
“My dear people of Zamfara people, you are witnesses to what we have accomplished from the beginning of our administration, particularly the peace and reconciliation efforts that we initiated and achieved. As a result, we have been able to shift our violent narratives to ones of optimism and peaceful coexistence.
“Unfortunately, things suddenly took a dramatic turn, and things are getting worse by the day. It is clear that some invincible hands are plotting evil against our people with the goal of making our State as terrifying as it were in the years gone by. My constant prayer is for Allah to reveal those who are perpetrating these cruel atrocities against our people.”
The Governor urged communities to defend themselves against the bandits while pledging his administration’s commitment to securing the state.
“I assure you that we will remain steadfast in our efforts to eradicate banditry and all types of criminality from the State,” he said. “In this battle, no sacred cow. Whosoever is involved in these dastardly acts, no matter how highly placed, would be dealt with according to the law.
“We have demonstrated this commitment based on the actions we have taken in respect of Emir of Maru, Emir of Dansadau and, following yesterday’s incident, the Emir of Zurmi.
“My administration has resolved to begin implementing the recommendations of the MD Abubakar-led Committee on Finding Solutions to Banditry in Zamfara State as a next step in addressing this vexing problem. We would not spare anyone indicted by the committee’s report, no matter how high up they are.”