Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State has said 155 were killed in the recent attacks that was unleashed by suspected cattle rustlers and bandits in some parts of the state.
He made this known on Monday during a special broadcast to the people of the state.
He said “it is with heavy heart that I am addressing you in the wake of the escalation of the security challenges facing our dear state.
“You are aware of the recent series of violent attacks perpetrated by a gang of heartless individuals in some parts of the state. These attacks have resulted in wanton loss of lives and destruction of property in the affected communities.
“It is saddening that despite all our efforts in collaboration with the Federal Government to contain this strange phenomenon the hoodlums continue to carry out their nefarious activities with greater vigour.
“Apart from loss of lives and property, these acts of banditry have caused untold hardships leading to heavy psychological trauma inflicted on our people. Since the emergence of this crime which hitherto is alien to our people, economic activities in various parts of the state have virtually come to a standstill.
“Particularly, agriculture, which is the main stay of our economy and generates employment for the largest proportion of our population, has suffered a drastic setback. This is currently posing a threat to food security and commercial activities all over the state.
“My dear people of Zamfara State, reports made available to us have indicated that so far 53 people have been killed in Shinkafi, 50 in Maru Local Government Area, 37 in Maradun and 15 in Zurmi Local Government Area of the state in the recent waves of attacks, bringing the total figure of those innocently killed by these bandits to 155 people.
“This is in addition to the several others who sustained different degrees of injuries during the attacks. I have ordered for continuous search for more bodies in the affected areas for proper burial and to get the actual figure of those that lost their lives.
“Similarly, many people have deserted their homes and have now become internally displaced.
“This menace of banditry has various dimensions ranging from brutal assaults such as we have witnessed in the towns mentioned to kidnapping of men, women and children for ransom.
“Till date, a total of over 50 people have been reported kidnapped across the state. This wave of kidnappings has become so alarming to the extent that movement of individuals from one part of the state to the other is greatly hampered.
“I want to use this medium to condole the families of all the victims. May the Almighty Allah grant them Aljanna Firdausi and bless the beloved ones they left behind and give us the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
“I also want to assure our people that this administration will continue to do everything humanly possible to ensure justice for the families of the departed souls.
“Since the onset of this new crime, government had mapped out strategy in collaboration with the Federal Government and the neighbouring states facing similar challenges to tackle the problem. With the current resurgence of the attacks, we have mobilised the security agencies in the state and given them all the support they require in arresting the situation and bringing the perpetrators to book. We are resolutely committed to restoration of peace and tranquility in all parts of our state.