Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State said on Monday that his administration would not negotiate with bandits or grant them amnesty.

The governor also apologised for his administration’s inability to protect the people.

The governor made the remarks when he visited Karewa and four other villages in Igabi and Giwa local government where 51 villagers were massacred by bandits in an early morning attack on Sunday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that four houses and six vehicles were destroyed in the attack, while the villagers are still searching for their missing family members. “If not for the security agencies prompt intervention they would have wiped out the entire villages.

“I also came to apologise for failure to protect you fully, we are doing our best to minimise such incidents, you should continue to forgive us.  

“But we are doing the best we can and we are hoping that this banditry issue will be addressed because security personnel are on ground to manage the situation.

“In Kaduna we have vast land, if the security close one area they attack another area,” he lamented.

The governor told the villagers that he had asked the security agencies to wipe out the bandits. “It is our duty to wipe them out, and until we send them to their maker, the security agencies are taking the war to the forest and we are eliminating them, ” he said.

According to him, security operatives intervened shortly after the attack, both on ground and in the air, and succeeded in wiping out the attackers.

“The security agencies are doing the best they can, but they find it difficult to get to remote areas in good time due to poor access roads while the natives also find it difficult to get to security personnel due to poor GSM network.

“But I am grateful to the Air force, Army, Police and the DSS for being always prompt otherwise it would have been worse.”

He urged the people to continue to be patient and vigilant, as well as support government and security agencies to win the war against the bandits.

El-Rufai prayed for peaceful repose of the souls of those who died and directed the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to provide relief materials for the victims.

The villages attacked were Hashimawa, Marina, Kerawa, Unguwan Musa and Zariyawa. The governor was accompanied by the GOC 1 Division, Commissioner of Police,, Director DSS  and chairmen of  Igabi and Giwa local councils.

Earlier, the District Head of Karewa, Alhaji Ibrahim Damu, called on the state government to intensify efforts in tackling security challenges in the area, as the people were living in constant fear.

He also urged residents to be vigilant at all times.