The Zamfara State Government has said that a total of 3,526 persons were killed by armed bandits in the state in the last five years.
This was disclosed yesterday by the state Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, in Gusau during a Town Hall Meeting attended by the acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
“Nearly 500 villages have also been devastated and 8,219 persons injured, some are still in critical condition,” the governor said.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Abdullahi Shinkafi, also said that over 13,000 hectares of farmlands were either destroyed or made useless as the farmers can no longer farm there.
“The economy of the state has seriously suffered because thousands of shops were destroyed by the rampaging bandits who had displaced thousands of our people from their places of abode, many of whom cannot sleep with their two eyes closed because of fear,” he added.
Yari said the government had written volumes of reports containing over 7,000 pages, giving details of the crises right from the beginning to the infiltration from Libya and Boko Haram.
He disclosed that the government was aware of eight prominent bandits’ camps at different bush locations in the state, and urged that they should all be neutralised in order to decimate the criminals.
The governor said that recent suspension of mining activities in the state by the federal government must “be followed by enforcement, because, it is one thing to ban, and another to enforce.”
Earlier, Adamu, the acting IG, told the gathering that the police would take more proactive measures in the fight against bandits and commended the state government for providing enabling environment to security personnel to operate in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the town hall meeting was attended by traditional and community leaders, including herders and farmers.