..Insists security agents lack adequate warfare equipment
…As bandits sack Mada communities
By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo
As locals in Mada and adjoining villages near Gusau in Zamfara State continued to migrate in hundreds due to the activities of bandits and other criminal elements in rural parts of the state, Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle has said that self-defence is a natural instinct and has always been part of human survival strategy.
He said “as those entrusted with the safety of lives and property of the people, we will do everything possible to uphold this responsibility within the ambit of the law.”
According to him, “we are aware of misgivings expressed in some quarters regarding the new measures, particularly the decision to encourage members of the communities suffering almost daily from the inhumane aggressions of the bandits to acquire firearms to defend their communities.”
“We are also aware that the security forces are doing their best to combat this formidable challenge. Their efforts are however hampered by lack of adequate modern warfare equipment and the shortage of personnel.”
“Our decision to mobilise people to secure their communities is therefore for the people to complement the efforts of the conventional security forces in dealing with banditry and fishing out informants. The acquisition and usage of firearms by members of the general public who desire to do so would be governed by the Nigeria Firearms Act,” he said.
The Governor said in recent weeks,the state had witnessed increased attacks on some parts of Gusau, Bukkuyum and Gummi Local Government areas and expressed his sympathy with the locals affected.
Governor Matawalle spoke while inaugurating 4 committees on security matters where he provided 20 brand new Hilux vehicles and 1,500 motorbikes for the commencement of operations.
According to the Press Secretary to the Governor, Jamilu Iliyasu Magaji on Tuesday.the committees are Special Committee on Intelligence Gathering on Banditry, Management Committee on Operations of the Community Protection Guards (CPG), Committee on Prosecution of Banditry Related Offences, and State Security Standing Committee.
The Governor explained that the establishment of the committees was part of the tireless efforts of his administration to address the prolonged problem of banditry in the state and other states in the northwest zone.
“My administration has explored all workable options to address banditry and related crimes in the state.”
“These options include dialogue, reconciliation and disarmament strategy, regular engagement with the Federal Government on the issue of security, collaboration with the neighbouring states and the authorities of Niger Republic, shutting down of mobile telecommunication networks to give security forces the leeway to take the battle directly to the bandits’ fortresses.”
“My administration has provided a settlement for nomads popularly known as RUGA and provision of logistic support to security forces including vehicles and drones.”
“The committees inaugurated would further boost the state government’s efforts to combat the dreadful challenge, in both the short and long terms.”
“The committee members are selected based on their track records of performances , we are confident that they would faithfully carry out their mandates to accomplish the goals.”
“The state government and the entire security agencies in the state would support the committees to continuously work out strategies aimed at crushing the tide of banditry in all parts of the state,” he said.