Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State on Tuesday issued two months ultimatum to bandits in the state to surrender their weapon to the government, among other measures to end banditry in Zamfara. Governor Matawalle issued the ultimatum in a state broadcast on Tuesday after four days of consultation with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on the insecurity crisis in the state. He disclosed that President Buhari had ordered the deployment of more troops to reinforce military operations against bandits in Zamfara State.
Governor Matawalle stated that the State Government has taken measures to end banditry in the state. The measures, he said, include the following:
- The recalcitrant bandits have been given two months from today (Tuesday, February 9, 2021) within which to embrace the peace process and surrender their weapons to the government.
- All political actors are hereby advised to desist from any acts capable of endangering the state’s security, as security agencies have been directed to monitor the activities of all the political actors and take appropriate actions against the violators.
- Traditional rulers and local government sole administrators are hereby directed to always remain in their respective domains to monitor the influx of any suspicious characters.
- Conveyance of more than two persons on a motorbike is hereby banned with immediate effect. Security agents are directed to arrest and arraign the violators of this order for prosecution.
- Government observed with dismay the persistence of the activities of some Yansakai, despite the banning of such vigilante groups. The order remains in force.
Governor Matawalle in the Tuesday broadcast on the state of security in Zamfara, narrated that in the early hours, at about 1.00am, on Friday, February 26, 2021, a group of bandits attacked the Government Girls Junior Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of the state and kidnapped 279 students.
The governor decried that the sad episode shook the people of the state, Nigerians, and the entire world. “It again brought to the global attention, the type of security challenges our state and many others in the north, were battling with, and brought to the fore the urgent need to take further steps to deal with the situation comprehensively. We have already secured the release of all the 279 kidnapped students,” the governor said.
The governor disclosed that the kidnapping made him undertook a four-day working visit to Abuja to brief the President and other critical stakeholders on security. “As a fall out of my discussion with President Muhammadu Buhari and security high commands in Abuja, it was resolved that 6,000 additional troops are to be deployed to the state to complement the current efforts by the security forces. The troops will arrive soon in the state for operations,” the governor said.
Governor Matawallle recalled that President Buhari has ordered security forces to shoot at sight anyone found in possession of AK-47 without permission. He further recalled that Zamfara State had been declared by the President at the National Security Council in Abuja as a “no-fly-zone” in addition to banning of all mining activities in the state.
The governor said that President Buhari has agreed to a time frame within which the recalcitrant bandits should accept the peace truce and surrender their weapons to the government.
Governor Matawalle declared: “the peace initiative of my administration has recorded a number of successes which include disarmament and recovery of weapons from the repentant bandits, securing the release of hundreds of kidnapped persons, opening of markets and resumption of other economic activities across the state, and reducing the wave of attacks and killings of our innocent people.”
The governor assured the people of Zamfara State that the government is doing everything to end banditry and guarantee the protection of lives and property in the state.
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