Bandits Kill 3,526 In Zamfara …Govt Resort To Charmers, Police Deploy Special Squad
The Zamfara State Government has said that a total of 3,526 persons have been killed by armed bandits in the state in the last five years.
The state governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari said this in Gusau during a Town Hall Meeting attended by the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu.
“Nearly 500 villages have also been devastated and 8,219 persons were injured, some are still in critical condition,” he said.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Abdullahi Shinkafi, also said that over 13,000 hecters of farmlands have either been destroyed or made useless as the farmers can no longer farm them.
“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 neutralized 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.”
Meanwhile the senator representing Zamfara Central in the Senate, Kabir Marafa, and his colleague from Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, have faulted the recruitment of charmers to arrest the bandits ravaging Zamfara.
Zamfara State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy, Bello Dankande, had at a security meeting with traditional rulers and local government council chairmen, said the state would employ 1,700 charmers, who would work with the civilian joint task force to tackle the bandits.
But the two senators condemned Governor Abdulaziz Yari for resorting to the use of charmers when billions of naira was being spent on the military and security agencies in the country.
Marafa said, “I don’t believe in whatever Yari is doing on this security situation in Zamfara State. The governor is not serious. He is part of the problems we are having in Zamfara State.I have even on the floor of the Senate; accused his government of complicity in the crisis. Up till today, nobody has come out to dispute what I said. People thought I was playing politics while I was drawing the attention of Nigerians to the insecurity situation in Zamfara State but everybody has now realised that I was saying the reality.
Sani, in his reaction, described Yari’s plan to recruit charmers as ridiculous, stressing that the development had exposed the inability of the federal and state governments to tackle insecurity in the country.
He said, “It is unbecoming of a state that practises Sharia to resort to sorcery and charms in an attempt to protect its people. The northern political elite by their hypocrisy have contributed tremendously to the insecurity situation in Zamfara, Kaduna and other states because they have all along been playing the roles of sycophants by refusing to tell the government the truth. They have instead resort to playing up the ethnic and religious cards.”