The Emir of Anka and Chairman Zamfara State Council of Chiefs Alhaji Attahiru Muhammad Ahmad yesterday said there is no presence of security operatives in the state’s rural communities.
He spoke during a town hall meeting with the acting Inspector General of Police Muhammed Adamu and other stakeholders on approaches to end armed banditry and kidnapping in the state.
“Security problems in Zamfara State started as mere local animal thefts but gradually transformed into organized crimes. All places armed bandits are operating have no security presence,” he said.
The emir said police could only be found in local government headquarters, adding that no council could
boast of up to 150 police personnel, while the state as a whole has a little more than 3,000 police forces.
According to the emir, there have not been total operations against armed bandits. He urged the security operatives deployed to the state to make the operation total and all inclusive to cover all the state.
“This is about 7th time we are holding similar meetings in this state. We hope the next meeting is for us to celebrate the return of peace in the state,” he added.
In his response, Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Professor Abdullahi Muhammad Shinkafi, lamented that killings and abductions have become daily affairs in the state.
He added that “despite the presence of security operatives armed bandits are issuing notice to villages ahead of attacks in the state. About 500 villages affected. When locals feel they are not being protected they are joining the criminals.”
While commending the Federal Government for its renewed efforts against the bandits, he reiterated the state government’s readiness to partner organisations in finding lasting solution to insecurity in the state.
Yari called on the police boss to deploy more police personnel to the state, adding that 8,500 youths from the 17 emirates of the state had been engaged to complement the Federal Government’s efforts.
The Nigerian Army has written a letter to Zamfara State government rejecting the activities of the recently recruited Civilian Joint Task Force members, council chairman of Zurmi local government Dr Auwal Bawa Moriki has said.
The state government had in November 2018 recruited 850 young men to help security operatives in tacking the menace of banditry and cattle rustling in the state.
Speaking during the town hall meeting yesterday, Moriki complained about the lackadaisical attitudes of army in confronting the menace.
He said he was speaking on behalf of ALGON chairman, who was attending the funeral prayer of 14 persons killed on Monday by the bandits in his Birnin Magaji local government.
“Either the security operatives are not willing to bring the menace to an end or they don’t want the members of the CJTF to report their activities on the field,” he said, adding that killings and abductions for ransoms have dealt a serious economic and social blow on the people of the state.
The chairman urged the police to work hand in hand with the CJTF adding that the state government had recruited them in good faith and their role in bringing peace is crucial as obtained in other troubled states.
Responding, IGP Abubakar said they would do everything possible to increase the number personnel in the state, adding that the police are willing to work with vigilantes, known as civilian joint task force.
The acting IGP also disclosed that police personnel would soon be deployed to the mining sites in Zamfara State to ensure compliance with the ban of mining activities in the state.
He said mining activities in the state were banned to cut the links between the armed criminals in the forests and their collaborators in the towns.
The IGP said the police would be willing to work with the CJTF in restoring peace to the state.
Meanwhile, residents told Daily Trust yesterday that some miners have started vacating the mining sites in Sunke, Anka local government area of the state.
“When I went there this morning, I only saw some equipment and other working tools but the personnel have deserted the place,” a resident, Sani Habibu, said.
Also, a mining site in Maru local government area has become a shadow of its self since the ultimatum was given by the Federal Government. The miners had vacated the place, Daily Trust gathered.
A source close to the owner of the site told our correspondent that the miners were instructed by the owner to leave out of fear that security operatives could invade the site and confiscate equipment.