The Kaduna State Gubernatorial Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Isah Ashiru, has urged the state government and security agencies to fish out and prosecute those involved in the killings of villagers in Kajuru area of the state.
Mr Ashiru, in a statement he issued in Kaduna on Monday, expressed shock at the report of the murder of innocent people, describing the situation as unfortunate.
"This unfortunate incident is not only an unwanted addition to the list of the past similar ones, but is also a clear indication that insecurity still remains a huge challenge in some parts of Kaduna state.
"The fact that the loss of human lives has been confirmed makes the whole issue terribly shocking.
"The act clearly smacks of callousness and a descent into barbarism.
"This will require a tremendous determination and demonstration of a sense of justice and fairness on the part of the authorities whose responsibility it is to not only deal appropriately with the perpetrators of such acts but to also forestall their recurrence.
"Let me quickly remind my dear good people of Kaduna State of the need to embrace peace and eschew violence so that the diversity with which Almighty God has endowed us can be harnessed for the good of all of us.
"Our State is big, bountiful and rich enough to accommodate all of us; all we need to do is to continuously remind ourselves of the fact that resorting to violence has never benefitted us as a people," Mr Ashiru said.
He urged people of the state to "endeavour to come together, regardless of political, religious or ethnic differences, to let the world know that we are committed to ridding our state of violence
"At the same time, we must be willing to live as true brothers and sisters that we have always been.
"While we condole with the bereaved families, I also wish to re-assure everyone again that my bid to clinch the governorship of Kaduna state is driven by both an immense concern for our people and a total determination to rescue the state from misrule.
"I, therefore, wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, people of Kajuru local government area as well as the government and the entire people of Kaduna state over this unfortunate incident.
"It is my fervent prayer that Almighty God who created those souls will expose the perpetrators of the heinous act."
Unknown armed men had on February 11, attacked and killed 66 persons including children and women in eight settlements in Kajuru local government area of the state.