Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Friday cautioned local vigilantes against harassment and killing of innocent Fulani over bandits attacks in the state.
The governor gave the warning while commiserating with families of the 29 people killed by bandits in Kamitau, Malafaru and Ololi communities in Shinaka District of Goronyo Local Government Area.
Tambuwal reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to ending all forms of banditry across the state.
He described bandits attacks on innocent people as wicked but said it was no justification for local vigilantes and civilian JTF to also target innocent Fulani people.
He assured that state government in collaboration with security agencies were making efforts to finding lasting solution to the menace.
The governor prayed to Allah for forgiveness of the deceased persons and called on the bandits to drop their guns and embrace dialogue for the prevalence of peace and stability in the state.
Tambuwal disclosed that a window of discussion had been opened with leaders of the bandits and assured that by the grace of God, lasting peace would prevail in the state.
He expressed gratitude to district heads and other community leaders in the state for their sustained support to the government and urged them to remain calm as government was making efforts to stem the incident.
Responding on behalf of the families of the deceased persons, the District Head of Goronyo, Alhaji Sambo Usman, thanked the governor for the condolence visit and prayed Allah to reward him abundantly.
Usman told the governor that they had since embarked on public enlightenment on the importance of peaceful co-existence.
The monarch urged various communities to intensify prayers for peace and stability in the state and country as a whole.
The governor was accompanied to the condolence visit by the state Deputy Governor, Alhaji Maniru Daniya and other government officials.
The incident occurred on Thursday as hundreds of bandits on motorcycles raided the communities firing guns indiscriminately on residents.
A source in the area told newsmen that the assailants arrived the villages at night, armed with sophisticated weapons and started shooting sporadically.
He explained that they killed villagers and destroyed houses and other property.
According to him, many people have fled their homes to seek refuge in nearby communities within Goronyo and Isa local government areas of the state.
Earlier, Mr Muhammad Sadiq, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Sokoto state command, confirmed the incident but could not provide the casualty figure and places affected.