GOVERNOR Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has accused his predecessor Abdulaziz Yari and his supporters of disrupting the peace process initiated by his administration by instigating thugs to confront security operatives.
Over the last year, bandits have run riot in Zamfara State, constantly terrorising the towns of Tsafe, Danjibga, Yan doto, Yan waren Daji, Kwarin Ganuwa and Keta. Local people have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to do everything within his powers to curtail the activities of the bandits who have been kidnapping, raping women, looting and killing innocent people across Zamfara State.
Last year, the then state governor Abdulaziz Yari offered to pay N1m ($2,750) for every AK47 Kalashnikov rifle handed in as part of a desperate attempt to mop up the large number of illegal firearms in circulation across the state. Like many of Nigeria’s states, Zamfara is awash with weapons and of late, the state has been the centre of some very brutal violence involving Fulani cattle herdsmen and local farmers.
Since assuming office in May this year, Governor Matawalle of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has tried to initiate peace moves aimed at ending the crisis permanently. However, he has accused his predecessor Governor Yari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of instigating his thugs against coordinated security arrangements in the state.
Speaking while receiving arms voluntarily surrendered by a repentant bandit at the Government House, Gusau, the governor also sent out a warning to people peddling lies and posting false pictures on social media aimed at his administration from addressing security challenges in the state. During the visit, the governor received eight Ak47 rifles, one pistol and 12 rounds of ammunition voluntarily surrendered by one of the repentant bandits named as Saleh Kawajo Kuyambana.
Governor Matawalle added that his government was going to take drastic action against anyone found in the act of peddling lies or posting pictures that are not a true reflection of incidents and happenings in any part of the state. He vowed to arrest and prosecute anybody found committing such acts no matter how highly placed such persons or groups are in society.
Furthermore, Governor Matawalle said he observed that this was the third time the former governor would visit Zamfara State since he left office, stressing that his visits have always been followed by serious security breaches. he pointed out that it was too much of a coincidence and blamed the trouble on the unlawful gatherings that the former governor always organised during his visits.
He explained that security is the responsibility of all and wondered why the ex-governor and his followers are not happy with the significant improvement of security in the state. Governor Matawalle who was billed to travel to Germany on an investment trip cancelled his visit following an incident in Karaye village of Gummi Local Government Area, which resulted in the loss of 14 lives.