ZAMFARA State’s Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle has approved the suspension of the Emir of Maru Alhaji Abubakar Cika Ibrahim and the district head of Kanoma Alhaji Yahaya Mohammed over their roles in the activities of bandits and armed Fulani herdsmen.
Over recent months, Zamfara State has been subjected to an orgy of violence as armed bandits have run riot across its rural countryside. Overwhelmed and outnumbered, the security forces have watched on helplessly as hundreds of innocent villagers are slaughtered on a daily basis and the state government watches on helplessly.
On May 29, Governor Matawalle assumed office with a promise to address the crisis and his decision to suspend the monarch is seen as a first step in bringing peace to the state. Alhaji Yusuf Idris, the director-general of press affairs at State House, said that the decision to suspend the monarch and district head followed complaints from residents over their alleged involvement with bandits attacking communities in the area.
Alhaji Idris noted that the duo would remain suspended pending the outcome of an investigation panel, which will soon be set up by the state government. Emir Ibrahim has been directed to hand over his official vehicles and other government properties in his possession to his most senior district head, while the Kanoma district head is to hand over to the most senior village head.
Both suspensions which are with immediate effect, come after allegations were made by the former defence minister Lt General Mansur Dan Ali that some monarchs were involved in banditry. This week alone, 16 people were confirmed killed and 14 injured by suspected bandits in attacks in Kanoma community on Sallah day.
Governor Matawalle has paid a condolence visit to the community, saying he was aggrieved by the news of the attack. He assured the people of adequate security measures to end the armed banditry and other criminal activities in the area.
According to the governor, his administration would collaborate with well-meaning citizens to end the security challenges facing the state. He called on the locals to provide the government with accurate intelligence reports that would assist the security agencies in apprehending the criminals.
Governor Matawalle also called on the bandits to surrender their arms and embrace peace before it is too late. He then prayed to God to reward the souls of those who lost their lives with Jannatul Firdaus and give their families the fortitude to bear the loss.