Insecurity in North-west now an existential threat – Zamfara Governor

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has said insecurity in the North-west of Nigeria has “become an existential threat” and urged the federal government to put more effort into fighting it.

Mr Matawalle said this when he received a federal government delegation, which paid him a condolence visit over the recent massacre of over 200 people by bandits in the state.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how people were killed by bandits in Anka and Bukkuyum local government areas last week.

Members of the delegation included Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Umar-Faruk, National Security Adviser, Babagana Mungono, the Inspector-General Of Police, Usman Alkali and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Need for more effort

Mr Matawalle urged that special forces be sent to some parts of the state and the region to tackle the activities of bandits.

“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 governor said his administration has made effort to tackle the menace but the security challenge is unprecedented.

“The security challenge in Zamfara and other states in the North-west is unprecedented. It has become an existential threat for the subregion.

“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.

“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 expended 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 federal govt delegation, Mr Magashi, told the governor that his team was in Gusau to extend the message of President Muhammadu Buhari, over the recent unfortunate attacks on some communities in the state.

Mr Magashi, the minister of defence, said the president was saddened by the development and promised that stringer actions would be taken to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents in the future.

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