By Suleiman Umaru
Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara, a state that had been declared as a fly zone by President Muhammadu Buharu, a retired Army General, last March, appears to have suddenly realised that the Nigerian Army under the close watch of Farouk Yahaya, a Major General and Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, and his men, can no longer effectively secure the state from the activities of the marauding Bandits and other criminals.
Matawalle, the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, governor in the north west state, who could not hide his feelings,. had told those that cares to listen that that ‘’the insecurity situation in the state had taken a turn for the worse’’. The governor, who is convinced that some invincible hands in the state and those living in the cities are plotting evil with a goal of making’’ the state terrifying as it were in the years gone by’’. This may have forced him to encourage’ the people to defend themselves against the Bandits’ to secure their Communities’’
. He may have taken a cue from Dave Umahi, the south east governor of Eboyi state, who had told the people to defend themselves from the unknown gunmen who had repeatedly attacked some Communities in the state for much of this year.
The 53 year-old governor, who had been under pressure from several quarters to dump the PDP and decamp to the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, in order to have unfettered access to the Katsina state born Nigerian President to seek his support for deployment of more troops to the state to address the insecurity situation, may have shown his horn of dilemma in his June 12, 2021, broadcast to the people of the state.
Note that the APC, chieftains, are determined, to recover the state from the Opposition PDP, at all costs. The alleged killings of over 70 indigenes of Kadawa village, in Zurmi Local Government Area of the state may have exposed the high level of insecurity in the state.
Informed sources told The Value News that prior to the Saturday bandits attack on the Kadawa Community, scores of motorcycle-riding gunmen, were said to have entered the village including Kawata Maduba, Ganda Samu, Saulawa and Askwa, also in Zurmi local government Area of the state between Thursday , June 10, 2021 and Friday, June 11, 2021, to launch their attack.
Matawalle, who may have taken advantage of the June 12, 2021, Democracy day, to make a special broadcast to the people had confirmed that ‘’in the recent weeks the act of banditry in the state has reverted to the ugly dimensions that it had been in the past prior to the coming of his Administrations in 2019’’’.
Hear him, ‘’ The marauders kill without regard for any rules of sanity , women, elderly and the children are not spared’’. This may have informed why a large number of people have been displaced in nearly every Community in the state.
Recall that the governor on assumption of duties some three years had initiated peace and reconciliation efforts to draw the bandits closer to force them to drop their guns and leave the forest which had become their home in order to be rehabilitated to live settled lives Some of the bandits were said to have heeded the state government’s call to return their guns, settled both in cash and kind including giving scores of heads of cows but the bandits soon returned to the bush.
The governor may have been pushed to the wall that he had declared that he will do everything within his capacity ‘’to eradicate banditry and all types of criminality in the state, noting that in this battle to curb banditry in the state there will be’ no sacred cow’ .
He was emphatic: that whoever is involved in these dastardly acts, no matter how highly placed would be dealt with according to the Law’’. True to his words, he had approved the suspension of Atiku Abubakar Mohammed, Emir of Zurmi, over allegations levelled against him that he was not doing enough the people from incessant bandits attack in the Zurmi Community. He was said to have also sacked the Emirs of Maru and Dansadau.
The governor may have sent jitters down the spines of the bandits Collaborators in the state who were said to have been indicted by the MD Abubakar-led Committee that was set up to find solutions to banditry in the north west state as a next step in addressing the vexed issue of banditry in the state, that he would implement the recommendations of the Committee. He The governor was said to have assured the Zamfara state citizens, that his government would not’’ spare anyone indicted by the Committee’s report no matter how up they may be’’.
Many had expected the Nigerian President to focus his attention in tackling the activities of bandits in the north west states of Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, which is home state. Already the bandits have extended their operations to Kebbi, Sokoto, home of Sultan Abubakar Sa’ad, a retired Brigadier General, an indications that bandits want to take over control and Administration of the region.
Political analysts believe that the bandits want to do in the north west and the north central state of Niger, home state of retired General Ibrahim Babangida, a former military President what the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of the West African Province, ISWAP, are doing in the north east or the indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, under the close watch of the self- exiled Nnamdi K anu, in the United Kingdom is doing in the south east geo-political region.
Although, he had given a matching order to the military and the police to be brutal on the bandits but the insecurity in the north west states and the north central state of Niger state had remained the same, and even getting worse by the day.
The retired Army General may have seen the south east based IPOB, as the problem of Nigeria, perhaps, because of the 1967 -1970, Civil war, that he had vowed ‘’to go after them through the military and the Police to rid them of their criminal tendencies’’., stating that he has ‘’no regret whatever’’.
The question on the lips of most people was: who is the real criminal or enemy of state : BokoHaram, ISWAP, Bnadits , that had killed thousands of innocent people in different parts of the north west and the north central state of Niger and who had allegedly infiltrated the south east states in guise of herdsmen by taking over their forests to kill or the IPOB, that had never attacked any Igbo Community ?
The Nigerian President may have given an insight why he is out to deal decisively with IPOB members when he met with Mahmood Yakubu, a Professor and Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission recently over the Commission preparation for the 2023, general elections.
the destruction of police stations and those of the Independent National Electoral Commssion, INEC, devoted at improving the country’s democratic processes. Mahmood, the INEC, boss may have further put the IOB, and the Eastern Security Network, ESN, on the bad book of the Daura Emirate Council Politician, when cited the destruction of the Commission newly Completed of at Okwudor Community in Njaba Local government Area of Imo state, believed to have been carried out by the IPOB.