The Emir of Anka Alhaji Attahiru Ahmad has painted a grim picture of the banditry in Zamfara state and why it been intractable.
Ahmad told an audience that included the new military service chiefs and Governor Bello Matawalle in Gusau on Tuesday, that the bandits outnumber the number of security personnel in the state including policemen and soldiers.
According to him, Nigeria has deployed fewer than 5,000 securitymen to fight the banditry, as against the 30,000 bandits.”
A way out, Ahmad said, is to follow the pacificatory and dialoguing approach by Governor Bello Matawalle.
Though he called for the deployment of soldiers, he told the service chiefs to embrace “the peace and dalogue initiative of Governor Matawalle.
Emir Ahmad also disclosed the shocking kidnapping of about 100 miners operating between Anka and Maru Local Government Areas.
Ten other people were killed by the bandits.
The kidnapping occurred 2 March, the same day that another set of bandits captured 279 schoolgirls of Jangebe Government Science Girls Secondary School.
Ahmad, who is also the Chairman of the state Council of Chiefs said the kidnapping of miners was over-shadowed by the abduction of the 279 GGSS, Jangebe girls, by another bandits’ gang which took place on the same day.
“The bandits have been attacking those involved in artisanal mining and carting away their money and property.
“There is a disconnect between miners and bandits in the state, so we were surprised when the declaration of ‘no fly zone’ was recently slammed on our state over suspected arms supply and illegal mining when the state does not even have an airport.
“We know that there are states with more security challenges than Zamfara and we expected that if such order would be issued, it should also cover such states.
“Our artisanal miners, who are licensed, have been very helpful to the state’s economic growth and they have played significant roles in ameliorating the hardship faced by IDPs in the state by supporting them,” he said.
The first class traditional ruler, who called for more security personnel to fight banditry in the state, noted that “the peace and dialogue initiative of Governor Matawalle has become necessary.
Ahmad however assured the service chiefs that people in the state would continue to pray for the success of security men and urged the CDS to ensure that there is synergy among all segments of the military during operations in order to block all escape routes against the criminals.
Responding, the CDS commended the role played by the traditional rulers in fighting crime and urged them to continue to engage their subjects in giving credible information that would lead to the containment of bandits.
On his part, Matawalle assured that his administration would intensify its peace and dialogue as well as support the security in sustaining onslaught against unrepentant bandits.