Zamfara: Bandits made 8,000 widows, 16,000 orphans –Governor

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Zamfara crisis: Bandits made 8,000 widows, 16,000 orphans –Governor
 

Bandits ravaging Zamfara State have turned 8,000 housewives to widows while 16,000 children had become orphans since 2009 when the state has been under pressure from bandits. Also, the bandits had killed at least 5,000 and injured more than 9,000 others while over 10,000 houses and silos were destroyed as a result of bandits’ activities.

The state government also revealed that it pays between N500,000 and N1 million to the family of each person killed while between N250,000 and N500,000 goes to those injured by bandits in Zamfara. Governor Abdul’azeez Yari disclosed this at a two-day Federal and States Security Administrators’ meeting held in Gusau, the state capital, yesterday. Yari also disclosed that over 2,000 roads newly constructed by the state government had been taken over by the bandits. The governor, who spoke through the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Abdullahi Shinkafi, said the new roads, which were constructed between 2011 and now, across the 14 local government areas of the state, could not be used owing to the activities of bandits and kidnappers. He noted that the state began to encounter security concerns in 2009.
 

“It is on record that since the beginning of this armed bandits and kidnap ping phenomenon, more than 4,000 lives have been lost in the state, more than 9,000 persons injured, just as more than 10,000 houses, shops, and silos have been destroyed while over 100,000 people displaced. “Over 500 villages and towns have been destroyed, 10,000 persons displaced, 8,000 women widowed, and 16,000 children orphaned by the ugly trend. “The situation is sending away investors from Zamfara State, which used to be a major centre of commercial activities.

 

“These are the consequences of the ugly trends. So, generally, people are in a state of fear,” said Shinkafi. He said banditry had forced residents to desert over 500 villages. According to him, government has, between 2011 and now, procured 570 brand new Hilux vehicles which were distributed to security agencies to curb the menace of banditry. “In the past seven years of this administration, the state constructed over 2,000 kilometres of road, thousands of classrooms, and 716 health facilities, but most of them cannot be used due to insecurity. “It is unfortunate that there are more than 10,000 bandits across the eight major bandit camps in the state.

“In spite of the increase in the number of security personnel in the state, the problem still persists. This situation is more serious than the way we thought it was. “The security issue is the duty of all of us; communities should support security agencies with useful information,” he added.

 
 

The governor said his administration had expended N20 billion on the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, including the welfare of the IDPs. He said: “The state government normally pays between N500,000 and N1 million to the family of each person killed, and between N250,000 and N500,000 to those injured by bandits in the state.” The governor described banditry as a serious issue in the state. “We fight those that we don’t know. Security is an issue for all of us; we have to fight it collectively,” he added. Yari, therefore, urged all and sundry to come out and fight the menace. “It is not time to share the blames on pointing at each other, but to find a lasting solution,” he said.

In his opening remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Special Services, Dr. Amina Shamaki, disclosed that the Federal Government was worried with the activities of illegal miners. Mustapha disclosed that the activities of illegal miners had frustrated foreign investors. Illegal mining, according to him, has in recent times become alarming in every state of the federation.

The SGF said the Federal Government had intensified efforts to fight bandits. He also urged states to cooperate with the Federal Government to achieve the desired goal. Meanwhile, the police in Katsina State have arrested two persons, Bello Lawal (30) and Mohammed Bature (20) for allegedly selling petrol to bandits in Danmusa Local Government Area of the state. The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isah, disclosed at a news conference on the achievements recorded by the command yesterday in Katsina.

He said that the duo, who were pump attendants, were arrested in Yantumaki, Danmusa area with 12 jerry cans of petrol on two motorcycles heading towards the forest in the area. Isah said that the police were making efforts to arrest other members of the syndicate. He also said that

 

NewTelegraph

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