Governor Bello Mohammed of Zamfara State has called for more concerted efforts in fighting banditry to ensure speedy elimination of the menace in the entire North West region and beyond.
Mohammed made the appeal yesterday in Gusau, the state capital when a team from President Muhammad Buhari paid him a condolence visit over the loss of lives in Anka and Bukkuyum local government areas. The victims were killed by fleeing bandits following intense operations by troops and aerial attacks.
To hasten the success of the ongoing operations in the state, Governor Matawalle called on the federal government to deploy more interventions in the state including more Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and specifically, the Super Tucano fighter jets in the state.
He said, “As part of this strategy, special forces should be deployed to some blackspots, particularly identified to be more dangerous centres of activities of the bandits. These blackspots are Gando, in Bukkuyum local government area, Munhaye of Tsafe local government area, Bayan Ruwa, in Maradun local government area, Kabaro- Sangeku, of Dansadau and Magami axis. The special forces could help dislodge the bandits and block exits to the fleeing ones.
“The security challenge in Zamfara State and other states in the North West is unprecedented. It has become an existential threat for the sub region. We have virtually explored and tried all workable options in our relentless effort to address this challenge. We tried the dialogue mechanism, which has worked for some time before deliberate efforts by some misguided politicians to scuttle the process.”
The governor said his administration has, however, tried to surmount the challenges in many faces. “My administration has made tackling the issue of insecurity its priority. Our approach is multifaceted. We have intermarried the provision of logistics and other forms of support to our security forces with an array of social intervention programmes aimed at the economic empowerment of our youths,” he said.
Matawalle suggested that the idea of Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs’) Camps should be de-emphasised while concerted efforts at quick resettlement should be stressed through massive provision of resources by the federal and state governments and all stakeholders such as NGOs, donor agencies and profit-making organisations and individuals
Governor Matawalle further added that his administration has been supporting the security operatives in the state to make their job easier, “we procured 200 brand new Hilux pickups and distributed them to all the security agencies in the State for operational purposes. This is in addition to payment of allowances to security personnel, provision of Silent Falcon Drones, repairs of vehicles and fighting equipment, provision of office and housing accommodation and a host of other supports to our security forces”.
He said, “We employed the service of hunters and provided them with motorcycles and allowances. Only recently we paid the service hunters the sum of N53 million, in addition to their full upkeep. In the aftermath of the recent attacks in Anka and Bukkuyum local government Areas, we expanded the sum of N250 million to provide vehicles, and allowances for both the Civilian JTF and the conventional security outfits’ ‘. Governor Matawalle added.
Earlier, the Leader of the delegation and minister of defence, Major-General Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd), told the governor that his team was in Gusau to extend the message of Buhari over the recent unfortunate attacks on some communities in the state.
Magashi said the president is saddened with the development and promises that stronger action would be taken to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the future.