President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the latest round of attacks on farmers by bandits in Damkar and Tsanwa villages in Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State.
A statement on Sunday in Abuja by his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said the President was reacting to the razing of homesteads during the attacks.
It said many people were killed in the affected areas at the weekend.
He said: “Local communities that catch bandits should hand over the suspects to law enforcement authorities instead of meting out capital punishment, leading to a cycle of revenge and counter-revenge.”
He urged community leaders and local authorities to continue partnership with law enforcement agencies that bring surrendered bandits, leading to peace between farmers and herders.
“The authorities must be allowed to investigate and deal with any breach that occurs. There is no place for violence in a decent society.”
President Buhari prayed God to comfort families that had lost loved ones in the attacks and repose the souls of the victims.
President Buhari was reacting to the attack on Kwatas village in Bokkos Local Government Area of the state, where 13 persons, including two women, were killed last Monday.
The President promised that all forms of criminality, including terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and associated crimes, will be defeated.
In a statement by Shehu, President Buhari said hatred, revenge and violent attacks, for whatever reason, should not be found in a multiple-cultural society like Nigeria.
“In Plateau State, gunmen launched yet another bloody attack, killing innocent citizens. This shocking and sad incident should be condemned by all citizens,” he said.
President Buhari stressed that “revenge, hatred and violent attacks should have no place in a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multi-religious society as we have in this country”.
Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari also condemned last Friday’s nocturnal attacks on Tsauwa and Dankar villages.
Thirty persons were killed while hundreds of others were displaced during the attacks.
The governor said the attacks were reprisals, based on privileged information from security operatives.
Masari, who spoke at Malumfashi during the disbursement of empowerment packages by the senator representing Katsina South, Bello Mandiya, mourned the victims.
He said: “Katsina is mourning the death of so many lives that were lost in the two villages, arising from heavy banditry attacks in Batsari Local Government Area. We condemn the attacks, which have taken heavy toll on human lives in the last seven months.”
The governor urged residents of local communities to avoid attacking visiting Fulani herdsmen, which he said caused the attacks in Batsari.
Masari said: “Reports reaching me had indicated that two visiting Fulani in the area were killed and a reprisal attack, which was carried out, was devastating in the affected community and villages.”
He prayed Allah to grant eternal rest to the dead.