Why Banditry Won’t End In Zamfara Soon – Matawalle
Banditry in Zamfara State will not end soon because those fuelling it are highly placed individuals in the society, Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle has said.
The Federal Government recently christened bandits as terrorists after a federal high court designated them as so.
After meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja, Governor Matawalle told State House correspondents that there would be a marked improvement in the security situation in the state by this week despite the effort of those instigating terrorism.
According to him, President Buhari’s determination to strengthen security activities in the state will bring changes in the situation from Wednesday.
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He debunked reports that over 200 persons were killed in the recent attacks in Bukuyyum and Anka areas of the state, saying that the victims were 58.
The governor said that banditry should have become a thing of the past in the state if not for the activities of some individuals he described as political bandits who were fuelling criminality in Zamfara.
He said that he visited the scenes of the recent attacks in the state even as he accused the “political bandits” as being behind the bandying of unverified figures.
Asked what can be done to bring a permanent solution to the insecurity in Zamfara, he stated: “Well, you know when I assume duty as a governor I used so many options to bring this insecurity to a minimal level. First of all, I initiated dialogue and reconciliation between the herders and farmers and during that dialogue, we spent more than nine months without any crisis in Zamfara State. It worked.
“But unfortunately, people use politics, because they have collaborators, of course. So, they went back to those bandits, telling them that the government is not serious about this dialogue, that we did not give them anything.
“So, the bandits decided to go back to their normal businesses. That’s why I backed out from the reconciliation programme. But definitely, it worked for over nine months. But because this is something that I inherited, that has been going on for almost eight years, and you don’t expect it to end within just two years of my administration. Because it is supposed to be an ongoing process.
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“So, after I realized that some of them had backed out of this dialogue, then I cut off the programme. I then initiated the cutting off communications, and some logistics that used to go to the bandits from August 2011 to December 2011. And it worked too.
“But sometimes those collaborators who are usually happy with what is happening, who even jubilate when people are killed, they went back and started again, saying that the government is not serious and instigating some of the public. In fact, they even dragged me to court.
“So you see with the kind of people in Zamfara State, I don’t think this issue of banditry will end very soon because, already, some people are behind it. Some people are using it.
“And all they need is at least to show Nigerians that both the federal and Zamfara state governments are not serious on the issue of insecurity, despite the fact that some of them are involved in the crisis of this insecurity. But we’re doing our best.”
The governor, who disputed the figures put out as those killed in the latest terrorist attacks in the state, said he was at the State House to brief the president on the security situation in Zamfara.
He said: “I briefed Mr. President on what happened and the next action that we should take and the government is doing everything possible to make sure that we bring sanity in state.
“All the action that we have taken, we have recorded successes within just three days. And you will bear me witness after that attack, there has not been any report on any banditry activities in the state until today.”
On the number of people killed recently, Matawalle explained: “Yes, I have already cleared the air about the figures because I have seen some reporting that 200 people, 300 people, 500 people were killed. But I went to the community by myself and the security agencies.
“First we went to Bungudu and we confirmed from the Emir that it was only 36 people that have been killed and two communities were razed by these bandits. And when we went to Anka, we met the Emir, at the time we met him he gave us a list of 22 people that have been killed, making the total numbers of 58 people killed.
“But as I’ve been saying there are some political bandits who have been spreading lies, rumors so that they can achieve some political gain.
READ ALSO: Bandits Terrorising Nigeria Are Fulani Herdsmen- Masari
“But actually it is just 58 people that have just been killed. But some people will just go to social media and be writing figures without having genuine information from those communities. Someone will just call a media personnel and tell him that look so, so number of people have been killed in so, so place.
“Some people even swear with the Holy Koran that thousands of people have been killed which is grossly misleading but we know all those kind of people do not want peace in the nation but God will prevail Inshallah.”
Asked to comment on the allegation emanating from the government circle that some powerful persons including some retired military officers were behind the insecurity in the state, he said that an investigation to unravel those behind terrorism was ongoing.
He said: “Well, like I said, we are still investigating those that are involved in these activities and we’ll make the public know after the confirmation of the reality of all the information that we have at hand. Because, we are working to make sure that all those who a have hand in this insecurity must be brought to justice.
“Therefore, once the investigation is concluded, we’ll inform the public of the result of the investigation of what the security is doing about it.”
On his interaction with the President Buhari, he said the president assured him of action that will be taken soon to address Zamfara insecurity.
He further explained: “You know I do initiate some actions to be taken and if I initiate some actions, I do inform Mr. President, and I’ve been getting support from him.
“So, now, I initiated another option of which I informed him.
” You know, issues of security are not something that someone should be talking on the screen of television or on the pages of newspapers, but I assure the people of Zamfara State that they will see changes very soon and Mr. President is committed to bringing down this issue of insecurity to barest level
“And I assure people that we have all it takes to fight these people and he has motivated me and when we go back on Wednesday, the people will see changes because I know what we discussed and I know what is going to happen within this period.
“So, my people would be happy with the action that the federal government is going to take on the issue of insecurity very soon.”
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BREAKING: PDP Suspends Anyim, Fayose
Former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; former president of the Senate, Pius Anyim; Prof Dennis Ityavyar and Aslam Aliyu were on Thursday suspended from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP made the suspension on Thursday after an extensive review of the affairs of the party, pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017).
The PDP also referred the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to the National Disciplinary Committee over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba.
“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” the statement added.
BREAKING: Ekweremadu, Wife Found Guilty Of Organ-trafficking In UK
A United Kingdom court has found former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, guilty of an organ-trafficking plot, which saw them bring a 21-year-old man to the UK
They were convicted of conspiring to exploit the man from Lagos for his kidney, reports the BBC.
Prosecutors told the Old Bailey the organ was to be removed and given to the couple’s daughter, Sonia, aged 25.
She was cleared of the same charge.
The victim, a street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
They were later arrested at the airport while trying to leave the UK.
NLC Orders Workers To Shut CBN Offices Nationwide Over Naira Scarcity
Worried about the continued scarcity of naira, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has officially declared a nationwide . The national president of the union, Joe Ajaero, gave the directive during a media briefing in Abuja.
Ajaero also directed that affiliate unions constituting the NLC should be on standby for picketing exercises across all branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria nationwide.
The NLC earlier issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to end the petrol and cash scarcity being experienced in the country.
Ajaero told journalists on Wednesday that the industrial action became the last resort of the NLC following the expiration of the ultimatum.
He said the decision to picket the CBN branches became necessary as the federal government and the CBN had failed to show any commitment to addressing the situation.
Ajaero lamented that despite the Supreme Court order that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023, the situation kept getting worse.
He said workers could not access cash to pay fares to work.
He also criticised the pricing irregularities in the petroleum sector.
“Last week, we gave an ultimatum for the review of the cash crunch bedevilling the country, but we have discovered to our dismay that as at this moment not much effort has been made to ameliorate the situation. Government is still foot-dragging on these issues we raised,” Ajaero said.
“Based on this, we met again this morning to review our position and resolved that by Wednesday next week all CBN branches will be picketed. Workers are directed to stay at home too because people cannot eat, workers can no longer go to the office, we have been pushed to the wall.
“We have decided to take our destiny in our hands, we have mobilised our workers on this exercise.”
The NLC has no fewer than 43 affiliate unions which include, but not limited to, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, and the National Union of Road Transport Workers.
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