Abdulaziz Yari, governor of Zamfara state, says killings are getting worse under President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speaking Friday evening when he led five governors on a sympathy visit to the palace of Atiku Abubakar, emir of Zurmi, Yari said security agencies have failed in their responsibilities.
He said his administration gave information to security agencies 24 hours before the attack on some communities in Zurmi local government area of the state.
“Whatever humanly possible that needed to be done, we as a government have done to mitigate this disaster. But it does appear that security agencies are failing in their responsibilities,” he said.
“I feel let down facing the people of this state whenever I remember the promise I made to them that when they elect President Muhammadu Buhari into power, these killings will end. But unfortunately, things are now getting worse.
“As such, I urge you security agencies not to lose this war. If you let us take issues on our hands, anarchy will reign which is not what we hope for.
“On this particular incident, we had intelligence reports 24 hours before it happened. I alerted the security agencies but unfortunately they sent inadequate personnel to confront those people.”
Yari’s visit comes two days after the incident as he had been in Abuja, from where he connected Daura in Katsina for a meeting with the president.
In his remarks, the monarch said if not for the bravery of vigilante groups, the casualty figure would have been higher.
Abubakar said 600 bandits made attempt to invade Zurmi but were repelled.
“They came on 200 motorcycles with three persons on each bike. Each of them was well-armed. We stationed 500 vigilante members who stood their ground and gallantly fought the bandits,” he said.
“Unfortunately, these same bandits turned their anger on travellers and other villagers on their way here, that was why we had 39 people killed.
“These terrorists are known to us. Their major hideout is in a village called Kagara, very close to Bafarawa in Sokoto state, and a few kilometres from Shinkafi in Zamfara state. But despite several appeals to security agencies to storm the area, our appeals have failed.
“I need to state here that majority of weapons used by bad people in this country are brought in from this area. I had reason to personally inform Zamfara state director of SSS sometimes back of a large cache of weapons being brought into the country but no concrete action was taken until the containers were moved away.
“I am happy that other northern governors are here because we believe the solution to this problem lies in cooperation among all of you.
“I don’t need to repeat here that we need a full battalion of soldiers here and in areas surrounding Maru, Maradun, Shinkafi and Zurmi LGAs.”
He added that the people had been pushed to the limit and a negative reaction from them would have devastating consequence.