Banditry: Gov. Matawalle Barks And Ready To Sting

By Suleiman Umaru

 Gover Bello Matawlle of Zamfara state who had had waited over the last seven years for President Muhammadu Buhari total support to crush the Bandits who Mahammed Bazoum, the Nigerien President had said escalaed into Nigeria from the Maradi region of the country appeared to have been pushed to the wall that he could do anything now to protect the state.

The Nigerien President   had said that the Bandits had found their way into the country from the Madawa and Dutsin regions, meaning that they are from different countries in the Sahel region. Muammar Gaddafi, former Libyan Leader may have led the foundation for terrorism in Nigeria when he suggested in March 2010,  that the African most populous country  should be broken  up into several  states  alng ethnic lines like  the former East African country of Yugoslavia.

In spite of the fact that  the then President Goodluck Jonathan  had dismissed the Libyan Leader Statement with a wave of hand,  until his death in the hands of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation , NATO, Forces in 2012,   , he had repeatedly said  of dismantling  Nigeria into several  independent states for its multiple ethnic groups. The fallout was the export of Terrorism in Nigeria. He may have started the implementation of his agenda to split Nigeria into different Indendent states by introducing the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram into the north east state of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, in 2009, through the Cad Basin. His death may have escalated the terrorism in the African most populous country as another more militant  group , the Islamic state of West African Province, ISWAP, broke out from BokoHaram, in 2015. 

late Gaddafi: Exported Terrorism To Nigeria

Prior to the formation of ISWA, in Nigeria, the Bandits group, had already started operations in the northwest state of Zamfara, a year to Gadaffi’s death in the hand of the allied Forces. Abdulaziz Yari, a former governor of the state and now a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was said to have done everything within powers to crush them but that was how far he could. The situation was so worrisome as thy were said to have penetrated the ranks of the herdsmen to spread to other parts of the country, particular , Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna and the central state of Niger, to carry out their nefarious activities., without the Nigerian govermnt providing an answer to them.

Senator Yari: Banditry Escalated TInto Zamfara State From Niger Republic During His Tenure

Gov. Mtawalle, who could not hide his feelings had said that pat and present Administrations have overstretched  the Conventional security   agencie s personnel  operating  in the various theatres across the country  that his government  took a decision  to support the  ‘’to bear fire arms for self-defense against the ruthless  Bandits which could not fly in security circles. The first to drop the bombshell that he has no Constitutional powers to direct Ayuba Elkana, the state Commissioner of Police to issue licenses to individuals to obtain guns in self –defence was Lucky Irabour, an Army General and Chief of Defence Staff, CDSS.

He has his reason. This is because the police Commissioner is only answerable to Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, who in turn is answerable to the Commander – In-Chief, and Chairman of Nigerian Security Council, NSC. The Army Chief may have spoken the mind of the Katsina born Nigerian President, who did not find the Zamfara state action and funny and was ready to a decisive action to stop it.

In taking the decision, Gov. MMatawalle had said  that the Nigeria Army  ‘’lack the modern  war equipment  to prosecute the war against the Bandits and insurgents incursion into the state which have spread to other north west states including Niger, Ibrahim Babangida, a retired Army  General and former  Nigerian military President home state.

The Zamfara state governor had fired back at the security Chiefs criticizing the government’s decio ‘’to support the people ‘’to bear arms  for self-defense  against the Bandits and the insurgents for not taking into consideration the scale of the problem in the state’’, meaning that he has exhausted his patience. He has made it clear to all that cares to listen that  of his Adminitration’s determination  ‘’to go any length  within the precincts of the Law in order  to secure the state  and restore peace  in the communities  and place in Zamfara on a sound trajectory of development’’.

Given that the decision to support the people of the state bear arms could not fly in security circles while he has signed into Law  the bill passed by the state House of Assembly  which had recommended  death penalty for those found guilty  of Banditry, cattle rustling, cultism and kidnapping.

The bill was said to have also recommended various terms of imprisonment for anybody aiding and abetting  the Bandits  ranging from 10 years, 20 years  to life jail.

The no nonsense Zamfara state governor, who is behaving like an Army General in the war front, had said that legal instruments of operations contained in Executive orders 7,8,9, which had been signed into Law,  will provide  a Legal instrument  of operations for the four special Committees inaugurated on Thursday, June 24, 2022 to ensure  the implementation of the security measures put in place in the state works.  Gov. Matawalle may have set the stage for the Nigerian government adopt by introducing harsher penalties for anyone caught in the act of Banditry, insurgency, cattle rustling and kidnapping in any part of the country instead of reintegrating them into the society and the problem still remains.

Many believe that if one or two of those terrorists who claim to have repented in the north east of Borno, had been killed by firing arms, it would have deterred others to continue in the business of killing , knowing the consequences if caught in the Act or voluntarily repents.

In a related development,  Hope Uzodinma, governor of Imo state and a one Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria,  had told the people that that there will be no need  ‘’to armed  themselves  against the Bandits or gunmen, as they are labelled in certain quarters, terrorising the state in the recent times.

According to him, the security situation in the south east state has not degerated to the level of asking the people  to carry gun to defend hemselves as his Counterpart in Zamfara state had done and which is currently generating controversy.

As a prelude to tackling the worsening  security challenge in the state,  the Imo state governor  was said to have issued  a 10-day  ultimatum  to the Bandits or gunmen operating the forests in the state ‘’to immediately come out of their forests hideouts and surrender their guns to their traditional rulers for unconditional pardon’’.

He may have sent a signal to the Criminal elements that the state government which has the backing of the Katsina state born Nigerian President was determined ‘’to rid the forests in the state of the Bandits who turned a deaf ear to all necessary appeals.  Given an insider information on how he will about the implementation of his security plan to the state of the armed Bandits he revealed that the state has ‘’procured the necessary equipment for the purpose’’.

Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, governor of Ondo state, had waned that nobody should brush aside Gov. Matawalle of Zamfara state  for people to arm theelves, which had  the loss of confidence  in the current security arrangement in the country, stressing that the issue would still crop up again  now or in the issue.He asserted that way out is to establish state police  ‘’to adequately  tackle  the insecurity  bedeviling  the various parts of the country’’.

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