• As NBA tasks FG on adequate funding
By Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Secretary to the Government of Zamfara State (SSG), Prof. Muhammad Shinkafi, has disclosed that the state government had spent over N17billion in its quest at finding lasting solution to the lingering insecurity that has been ravaging the state recently.
He said the amount, which runs from 2011 to date, covers payment of allowances, purchase of vehicles and other logistics to security operatives, adding that part of the money was also used to provide office and residential accommodation to men of the 223 battalion, 607 quick responses, one brigade and the GOC units and provided some form of assistance to families and victims of the attacks to the tune of N2billion.
The SSG, who spoke with journalists in Gusau at the weekend during a town-hall meeting organised by the NBA to find lasting solution to the worrisome insecurity situation in the state, remarked that the state had been sitting on a time bomb for long, hence the need for concerted efforts by all to halt the onslaughts.
Shinkafi, while reeling out efforts by the Governor Abdul’aziz Yari administration in returning the state to its position of being the most peaceful state in the federation, said education as well as the need for people to limit the size of their family is crucial in taming the menace of insecurity in the state.
According to him, the crisis which started as a minor clash between herders and farmers had been taken over by armed men.
“As at today, we have about 10 major flashpoint in the state; over 40 attacks since 2009, resulting in the death of over 3,000 persons, destruction of over 2,000 homes; business premises destroyed including about 2,000 hectares of farmland, 500 vehicles burnt, villages overtaken by the bandits and the abduction of over 500 persons for ransom,” he said.
He noted that the situation had created palpable fear in the people, saying it had crippled the economy of the state.
While thanking the NBA for the visit, the SSG promised that the state government would appreciate and implement recommendations from them that would bring about peace in the state.
Reacting, National President of the NBA, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), lamented the huge money spent in the pursuit of peace by the state, noting that such amount would have impacted positively on the state’s economy.
Mahmoud said security operations by federal agencies anywhere in the country must be funded by the federal government and not states.
Emphasizing funding, he said the state government must show leadership in the fight against insecurity.
Mahmoud said the visit by the NBA was not a political one but a move aimed at promoting peace, resolving the conflict as well as upholding the constitution of Nigeria.