Gov Matawalle de-emphasises IDP camps, as FG delegation pays condolence visit

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*No let-up in campaign to rid Zamfara, others of terrorists – Buhari

 

By BASHIR ADEFAKA and IBRAHIM KANOMA, Gusau

The governor specifically suggested that the idea of IDP Camps should be de-emphasised while concerted efforts at quick resettlement should be emphasised through massive provision of resources by the Federal Government, the state government and all stakeholders such as NGOs, donor agencies and profit-making organisations and individuals.

Governor of Zamfara State, Hon. Mohammed Bello Matawalle, has called for a more concerted effort in fighting banditry to ensure quicker elimination of the menace in the entire North West and beyond.

Governor Bello Matawalle made this call on Wednesday, when a delegation from the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari, paid him a condolence visit over the loss of lives in Anka and Bukkuyum Local Government Areas of the state.

The governor noted that, “the security challenge in Zamfara and other states in the northwest is unprecedented. It has become an existential threat for the sub-region. We have virtually explored and tried all workable options in our relentless effort to address this challenge. We tried the dialogue mechanism, which has worked for some time before deliberate efforts by some misguided politicians to scuttle the process.”

In a statement handed to our Zamfara State Correspondent by Zailani Bappa, Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Enlightenment, Media and Communication, he said that his administration had, however, tried to surmount the challenges in many faces.

“My administration has made tackling the issue of insecurity its topmost priority. Our approach is multifaceted. We have inter-married the provision of logistics and other forms of support to our security forces with an array of social intervention programmes aimed at the economic empowerment of our youth,” he said.

The governor specifically suggested that the idea of IDP Camps should be de-emphasised while concerted efforts at quick resettlement should be emphasised through massive provision of resources by the Federal Government, the state government and all stakeholders such as NGOs, donor agencies and profit-making organisations and individuals.

Governor Matawalle further added that his administration has been supporting the security operatives in the state to make their job easier, “we procured 200 brand new Hilux pickups and distributed them to all the security agencies in the State for operational purposes. This is in addition to payment of allowances to security personnel, provision of Silent Falcon Drones, repairs of vehicles and fighting equipment, provision of office and housing accommodation and a host of other supports to our security forces”.

Furthermore, “We employed the service of hunters and provided them with motorcycles and allowances.  Only recently we paid the service hunters the sum of N53 million, in addition to their full upkeep. In the aftermath of the recent attacks in Anka and Bukkuyum Local Government Areas, we expended the sum of N250 million to provide vehicles, and allowances for both the Civilian JTF and the conventional security outfits”. Governor Matawalle added.

In order to hasten the success of the ongoing operations in the state, Governor Matawalle called on the Federal Govt to deploy more intervention in the state including more Armoured Personnel Carriers and specifically, the Super Tucano Fighter Jets in the state.

He suggested as well that, “As part of this strategy, special forces should be deployed to some blackspots, particularly identified to be more dangerous centres of activities of the bandits. These blackspots are Gando, in Bukkuyum Local Government Area, Munhaye of Tsafe Local Government Area, Bayan Ruwa, in Maradun Local Government Area, Kabaro- Sangeku, of Dansadau and Magami axis. The special forces could help dislodge the bandits and block exits to the fleeing ones”.

He finally thanked the Federal Government for its show of concern over the plights of the people and promised to continue to join hands with the Federal Government in ending the problem.

Earlier the Leader of the Federal Govt Delegation,  Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd) told the Governor that his team was in Gusau to extend the message of President Muhamnadu Buhari over the recent unfortunate attacks on some communities in the state.

General Magashi said the President is saddened with the development and promises that stringer action would be taken to prevent the occurrence of similar incident in the future.

The Federal Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster management announced a number of relief materials in kind of foodstuff, clothes and household utensils. Governor Matawalle immediately formed a committee to handle the materials and ensure they are directly delivered to the affected ares without recourse to the State Capital.

Those on the Federal Government delegation included the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd), Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs,Hajiya Sadiya Umar Faruk, National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Mungono (rtd), the Inspector-General Of Police, Alhaji Usman Alkali Baba and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Alhaji Garba Shehu.

Presidency speaks

Similarly, a statement from the Presidency confirmed that the condolence visit took place on Wednesday.

Signed by Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, the statement titled, “President Buhari’s delegation in Gusau, offers condolences on the “extremely unfortunate” Zamfara mass killings”, said President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday conveyed his condolences and that of his government to the people of Zamfara State on what he called the “extremely unfortunate” mass killings of innocent people by retreating bandits.

The President, who described the recent incident as a very sad one for the nation, reiterated his earlier commitment to tackle the monster of terrorism head-on, giving assurances that the besieged communities and other Nigerians will not be abandoned to their fate.

In an address to the Governor, commissioners, Emirs, the Chief Judge and Grand Khadi, legislators, council chairmen and political leaders, President Buhari who was represented by a delegation led by the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd), expressed the strong determination of the administration to get rid of these bandits who have now been classified as terrorists.

“There will be no let-up in the ongoing campaign to rid Zamfara and other affected states of the menace of these terrorists. Since they have no regard for the sanctity of life, so shall they be dealt with.

“The government is fully informed of what is going on and will do whatever it takes to end this. We are here to talk to the Governor and to assure the state that the administration is determined to do more to defend the life and property of the people,” he said.

President Buhari condoled with the government and the people of the state over the losses of life and directed the military and other security agencies to intensify the ongoing campaign until everyone and everywhere is safe.

The Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Bello Matawalle, who welcomed the delegation said that it is a testimony to the strong support of the President and the government at the center.

He appreciated the wisdom and vision of the President in approving the ongoing military campaign in the state, the effect of which has led to the dismantling of terrorists’ hideouts used as launching grounds for kidnapping, rustling and terrorism but said that more still needed to be done.

The Governor added that President Buhari is an example to the world in the establishment of democratic values and commended him for responding positively to all the requests so far placed before him by the state government.

He called on the federal government to fortify the security of the state with additional Armored Personnel Carriers, APCs and to roll out a special intervention fund for Zamfara and other states equally affected by the scourge of insecurity.

The delegation conveyed the approval of the President for palliative items for the Anka and Bukkuyum Emirates, the latest to be attacked, and for other areas equally affected by the attacks in the recent past.


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