Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has confirmed the death of 16 people in a fresh banditry at Dalijan, Rakkoni and Kalhu communities in the Rabah Local Government Area of the state.
Tambuwal made the announcement at a news conference on Tuesday in Sokoto, saying that the incident occurred on Monday night.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the banditry, which started in Sokoto State on July 9 last year has taken a total of 81 lives.
The governor called on security agencies to intensify efforts at safeguarding the people’s lives and property.
Commiserating with victims and their families, Tambuwal prayed Allah to grant them fortitude to bear the loss.
On the recent political happenings after the just-concluded presidential and National Assembly elections, Tambuwal expressed his concern that some politicians were indulging in do-or-die politics.
The governor said the situation had negated calls for peaceful campaigns and elections devoid of thuggery.
“During the elections, we experienced developments that clearly exhibited continued determination of the opposition to engaged in do-or- die politics.
“Leaders and loyalists of our party, the PDP were harassed, hounded and arrested by security agents even on the Election Day.
“The opposition also engaged in post-election mayhem, with attacks and arson on law-abiding citizens” Tambuwal claimed.
“Many properties and houses were razed in Wamakko and Kware towns as well as parts of Sokoto metropolis in a show of terror against perceived opponents and non-partisan members of the public.”
According to him, many polling units identified as PDP strongholds had logistic and technical problems with delayed balloting to very late hours.
“We were aware of efforts to engaged electoral officials and security agents by the opposition with a view to compromising their integrity.
“ These manifested through various machinations and techniques that included the late hour transfer of security officials and replacement of electoral officers.”
He emphasised that his administration was committed to free and fair elections, conducted in a peaceful atmosphere and freedom.
“Our concern is greater victory through winning ballot boxes.
“ Our objective for seeking your mandate is for service to the society rather than proving our strength as we demand chance for our people to choose or reject us in their own free will.”
Tambuwal urged the populace to continue to be patient and law-abiding as more critical elections that had direct bearing to people’s lives were coming in the next few days.
He appealed to people to re commit themselves to the democratic process, stressing that people should prepare to come out and elect leaders of their choice.
The governor said that the people should not allow ourselves to be intimidated or terrorised to the extent of failing to discharge their civic duties in the remaining elections, scheduled for March 9.