Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara, has justified the death penalty approved for anyone convicted of banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling, or cultism in the state.
Matawalle spoke on Wednesday when he was interviewed on Journalists’ Hangout, a TVC programme.
According to him, the state government has tried several approaches towards curbing banditry in the state, but such measures were not 100 percent successful.
“God knows I have adopted so many options for this crisis to leave the state, but unfortunately, there are good and bad people in any society,” he said.
“We’ve tried all we can. I’ve adopted so many options in the state and most of the options have yielded a lot of results.
“I’ve done dialogue. I shut down the network. We cut the food supply and we saw successes, but it’s not 100 percent. The bandits fear the Yansakai vigilante group because they use a fabricated weapon. They put motorcycle plugs into it. Bandits fear that weapon; the weapon cuts the bandits into two.
“They see Yansakai as the most devilish people. I know why I gave that directive and I’ve succeeded with that directive I’ve given.”
When asked if the death penalty will work in the state owing to the fact that it’s not a popularly accepted approach globally, the governor said he is sure it will work.
“Death penalty will work. I have signed it. Anyone found guilty will face the law. The death penalty might not be popular, but those killing people, is it popular?” he asked.
Speaking on the directive for residents to arm themselves, the governor said bandits deserve no mercy.
“Why I said everyone should get a weapon is because these bandits are like animals. How can you see someone farming, and then go and kill him?” he asked.
“If we say our people should not carry arms, who will go and confront the bandits if not the people? Those who are saying the directive is bad, why can’t they go and save our people?
“As a governor, I can’t fold my arms and see my people being killed every day. It’s not possible. It’s one of the primary responsibilities of the governor to protect the lives and property of his people.”