His Excellency, The Executive Governor of Zamfara State Hon Dr Bello Mohammed MON, Matawallen Maradun, Barden Hausa, Shettiman Sokoto today inaugurated four Security- related committees.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Press Secretary to the Governor, Jamilu Iliyasu Birnin Magaji, said the Committees are Special Committee on intelligence gathering on Banditry activities, Management Committee on Operations of the Community Protection Guards (CPG), Committee on Prosecution of Banditry Related Offences, and State Security Standing Committee.
Governor Bello Matawalle said the establishment of these Committees is part of the tireless efforts of his Administration to address the over a decade old problem of Banditry confronting the State and other states in the Northwest zone.
The Governor explained that it is on record that this administration has explored all workable options to address the issue of Armed banditry and related crimes in the state.
These options he said include dialogue, reconciliation and disarmament strategy, regular engagement with Federal Government on the issue of security, collaboration with the neighbouring States and the authorities of Niger Republic, shutting down of mobile telecommunication networks to give Security forces the leeway to take the battle directly to the bandits’ fortresses.
He added that, his Administration has provided a settlement for Nomads popularly known as RUGA and provision of logistical support to security forces including vehicles and drones.
To this end, the Governor maintained that the Committees inaugurated today, will further boost the state Government’s efforts to combat the dreadful challenge, in both the short and long run.
Governor Matawalle said the Committee members were selected and appointed based on their track records of performances, and expressed confidence that they will faithfully Carry out their mandates to accomplish the intended goals.
The Governor said his Administration has provided 20 brand new Hilux vehicles and 1,500 motorcycles to the Committees to commence operations in earnest.
He pointed out that the state Government and the entire Security agencies in the state will support the Committees to continuously work out strategies aimed at crushing the tide of banditry in all parts of the state.
Governor Bello Matawalle explained that “we are aware of misgivings expressed in some quarters regarding the new measures, particularly the decision to encourage members of the communities suffering almost daily from the inhumane aggressions from the bandits to acquire firearms to defend their communities “.
He therefore reminded people of the state that self-defence is a natural instinct and has always been part of human survival strategy, saying “as those entrusted with the safety of lives and property of the people, we will do everything possible to uphold this responsibility within the ambit of the law.
“We are also aware that the security forces are doing their best to combat this formidable challenge, their efforts are however hampered by lack of adequate modern warfare equipment and the dearth of personnel, the Governor said.
He added that “our decision to mobilise people to secure their communities is therefore for the people to complement the efforts of the conventional Security forces in dealing with banditry and fishing out informants, pointing out that the acquisition and usage of firearms by members of the general public who desire to do so would be governed by the Nigeria Firearms Act.”
In recent weeks, he said the state witnessed increased attacks in some parts of Gusau, Bukkuyum and Gummi local Government Areas and therefore used the occasion to once again convey the sympathy of the State Government to the people of the affected village areas.
He called on people of the state to always support his administration’s policies in order to ensure that peace and tranquility return to the State.
In an acceptance speech on behalf of the Committees inaugurated, the chairman of the State Security Standing Committee Rtd DIG Mamman Ibrahim Tsafe assured the Governor of their readiness to justify the confidence reposed in them, so as to accomplish the intended goals.