Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has described bandits as animals, saying they deserve to die.
Speaking during an interview on TVC, Matawalle said the state government has tried several approaches towards curb banditry but such measures were not 100 percent successful.
- Bandits kill police inspector, 3 others, abduct dozens in Kaduna, Katsina
- Bandits abduct women in Abuja community
The governor said, “We’ve tried all we can. I’ve adopted so many options in the state and most of the options have yielded a lot of results.
“I’ve done dialogue. I shut down the network. We cut the food supply and we saw successes, but it’s not 100 percent. The bandits fear the Yansakai vigilante group because they use a fabricated weapon. They put motorcycle plugs into it. Bandits fear that weapon; the weapon cuts the bandits into two.
“They see Yansakai as the most devilish people. I know why I gave that directive and I’ve succeeded with that directive I’ve given. Death penalty will work. I have signed it. Anyone found guilty will face the law. The death penalty might not be popular, but those killing people, is it popular?.
“Why I said everyone should get a weapon is because these bandits are like animals. How can you see someone farming, and then go and kill him? If we say our people should not carry arms, who will go and confront the bandits if not the people? Those who are saying the directive is bad, why can’t they go and save our people?
“As a governor, I can’t fold my arms and see my people being killed every day. It’s not possible. It’s one of the primary responsibilities of the governor to protect the lives and property of his people.”
In June, the state’s assembly passed a bill prescribing death penalty for all banditry-related offences.
Also in June, residents were asked to arm themselves against bandits. Decrying the high level of attacks in the state, Zamfara authorities directed the Commissioner of Police to issue gun licences to those eligible to bear arms.