“All they know is to creep up on people at night and burn houses. They scare women and children. So cowardly,” Twaha said.
- “Hatupangwingwi. We shall go on with our lives and build our economies. We shall not be deterred by cowards,” he said.
Lamu Governor Fahim Twaha has described al Shabaab militants as cowards who cannot face fellow men in broad daylight and attack in the dead of night.
His sentiments come weeks after a wave of attacks by suspected al Shabaab militants in parts of Lamu left over 15 people dead between January 2 and 9.
The governor spoke on Thursday when he led a relief food distribution exercise to victims of the attacks at Hind Primary School.
Twaha dared the militants to a duel asking them to name a place like real men as opposed to their cowardly antics.
He expressed his anger at the manner in which innocent people have lost their lives at the hands of ‘cowards’ not just in Lamu but across Kenya.
“Hatupangwingwi. We shall go on with our lives and build our economies. We shall not be deterred by cowards,” Twaha said.
The governor said there is need for militants to be dealt with ruthlessly and mercilessly so as to serve as a deterrent to others wishing to join them.
“All they know is to creep up on people at night and burn houses. They scare women and children. So cowardly.
"Let them tell us which arena they want this war in so we can meet there and fight fair and square. People shouldn’t be scared by these cowards,” Twaha said.
He lauded efforts by security agencies to restore peace and stability in the region.
Twaha however, urged residents to cooperate with them by reporting any suspicious persons and activities so as to deter those that might want to jeopardise the peace of Lamu.
“Do not fear but remain vigilant. Don’t hide any information that can help deal with the terrorists. We cannot be deterred by these cowards,” he said.
He further stated that the national government had made major strides to secure Lamu from terrorism.
Twaha’s anger towards the al Shabaab insurgent has been visible over the years.
In 2019, the governor asked the government to re-introduce the death penalty for al Shabaab militants, suspects, sympathisers and anyone showing any form of support for the militia group.
He had said, back then, that death is the best way to give the militants a dose of their own medicine as they have proved to be ruthless on innocent people.
Twaha joins Lamu Senator Anwar Loitiptip who has equally called for a shoot-to-kill order on al Shabaab suspects captured in Lamu and other areas.
The senator said it would be daunting to take such criminals through the legal process that includes prosecution and sentencing as that denies the victims justice.
In January this year, 15 people, including four police officers from the General Service Unit (GSU) were killed by armed militants.
The militants invaded Widho, Juhudi, Ukumbi, Marafa, Mashogoni, Githurai, Milihoi, Kibokoni, and Bobo-Sunkia villages, all in Lamu West subcounty.
(Edited by Bilha Makokha)