By Ejiofor Alike
Zamfara State Governor, Mr. Bello Matawalle has given bandits terrorising the state two months’ ultimatum, beginning from yesterday, for them to embrace the peace process and surrender their weapons to the government.
Matawalle has also told the service chiefs to deploy more troops across the north-west region of the country.
In a state-wide broadcast made yesterday at the Government House in Gusau, the state capital, the governor also disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has agreed to a timeframe within which the recalcitrant bandits should accept the state government’s peace truce and surrender their weapons to the government.
Matawalle noted that even though the state was enjoying relative peace as a result of the dialogue and reconciliation programme, many bandits had refused to key into the programme and elected to sustain their attacks and other nefarious activities against our communities.
He also alleged sabotage by those he described as unscrupulous elements, both within and outside the state.
According to him, it is also observed that informants are becoming rampant, adding that their callous activities are undetected due to some of the people’s attitude of indifference.
“As a further push to bring to an end the activities of the recalcitrant bandits so as to bring lasting peace to the state, the government has decided to take the following measures:
“The recalcitrant bandits have been given two months from today 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 action against the violators,” he expained
He directed traditional rulers and local government chairmen to always remain in their respective domains to monitor the influx of any suspicious characters.
He also banned conveyance of more than two persons on a motorbike, and directed security agents to arrest and arraign the violators of this order for prosecution.
He also banned the movements of a large number of motorbikes in all the nooks and crannies of the state.
The governor also reiterated the ban on the activities of some yansakai, and such vigilante groups.
He accused unnamed few media organisations of promoting fake news, causing psychological trauma and panic among the people, and called on such media organisations to desist from such professional misconduct.
Meanwhile, Matawalle has also told the service chiefs to deploy more troops across the north-west region of the country.
Speaking yesterday when he received the service chiefs at the Government House, Gusau, the governor stated that there must be blocking forces to block the routes of bandits from moving from one state to another, stressing that troops deployed to his state should not stay in the city but go to the heated area and take the battle to different bandits’ camps in the state.
“We need more deployment of troops across the whole North West, not just Zamfara, and we equally appreciate all the efforts of Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari toward defeating the lingering issues of banditry.
“Particularly, we appreciate the recent resolution to deploy additional 6,000 troops to complement the effort of those already on the ground,” he told the military leaders”.
Matawalle insisted that there was no evidence or proof linking mining activities in the state to banditry.