June 12, 2024

Police, military’s attitude to banditry frustrating — Zamfara Gov


Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State has lamented there was no political will to eliminate banditry in the state and country.

Alleging the laid-back attitude of the police and the military in combating the menace of banditry plaguing the state, he said that the kidnapping-for-ransom trade, which was booming in the state can be eliminated in two weeks with the right political will.

He said that the uninspiring attitude of Federal Government-controlled security agencies was responsible for the creation of the state security outfit, Community Protection Guards in January.

The governor, who was featured on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme, yesterday, said: “We, as governors, don’t have control over the military, we don’t have control over the police as well as the civil defence. In most cases, we get frustrated.

“When you need these people, they are nowhere to be found and the best thing to do is to set up that kind of security outfit.

“Sometimes, you’re really helpless. When you need them (security agents), they are not there. Even when they are there, they are given certain instructions on what to do and what not to do.

“In two weeks, we can take care of the situation but the political will is not there.

“We know who they (bandits) are. We know where they live. It’s just that there is no political will.

“At a point, I had to really come and say it clearly because when we are trying to take care of the situation, somebody somewhere is negotiating with the bandits without my knowledge,” he said, noting that the series of negotiations with bandits by previous administrations did not yield any positive results, hence there was no basis to continue with such venture which, he said, enrich the vicious marauders.

On the identity of those negotiating with bandits, he said: “To some extent, we do.”

Further, the governor said: “Zamfara State has become the hub of banditry in Nigeria. If you can take care of Zamfara today, you have solved more than 90 per cent of issues in northern Nigeria as a whole.”

Lawal said he had met with President Bola Tinubu to complain about the saboteurs to the security challenges in the state, noting that the President had assured him that something would be done to address the challenges.

On security outfits set up by states to complement security agencies in their states, he noted that these outfits have been handicapped in their operations due to several factors, including lack of license to bear assault rifles and superior weapons to confront deadly insurgents and criminals but governors were upbeat that with a constitutional backing, these outfits will live up to their full potential.