BANDITRY: Governor Matawalle urges FG to key into dialogue initiative, roll out comprehensive action plan


From Maiharaji Altine Gusau

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the possibility of coming out with a comprehensive plan of action to sustain peace and dialogue initiated in Zamfara towards addressing armed banditry and other criminalities. 

In a statement, the Director General, Media,  Public Enlightenment and Communications, Alhaji Yusuf Idris Gusau said Governor Matawalle made the call today when he received a high powered delegation from the Federal Government led by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN which paid a sympathy visit to the state over the last Sunday’s fire incident at the Tudun Wada Market, Gusau.

According to Matawalle, all conflicts that have ethnic dimension could best be resolved through dialogue saying it was the most practical choice which was previously done in the Niger Delta to attain peace and if applied in the current issue of banditry affecting Zamfara and the Northwestern region, it would be squarely addressed. 

He pointed out that while his administration was fighting armed banditry, it is also rolling out various plans for social intervention programme for youths, women and those affected by banditry across the State. 

The Governor who thanked the delegation and the President over the visit, said it has further demonstrated President Muhammadu Buhari’s fatherly love for the people of Zamfara State and his administration’s genuine desire to put an end to the plight of the people of the state.

He said “As believers in God, we see the unfortunate incident as a test. Allah subhanahu wata’ala says in the Holy Qur’an, “And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” 

The Governor informed the delegation that the Tudun Wada Market fire incident had destroyed 63 shops and that he has since formed a committee to assess the traders’ losses while also planning  to redesign parts of the market and rebuild the destroyed buildings. 

Earlier, leader of the delegation, Abubakar Malami commended Governor Matawalle’s security approach which he observed wass recording success with the Federal Government proud to be associated with the effort.

Malami who said the President’s prayer was to have a secured Zamfara, north west and the country at large, will continue to provide all the necessary support to adequately attain lasting peace.

He said, the delegation was in the state to commisserate with the people and government over last Sunday’s fire incident that razed down a substantial part of the Tudun Wada, Gusau market and expressed the president’s shared grief.

The Minister further announced the Federal Government’s desire to collaborate with the state government to bring soccour to the victims of the inferno in addition to the Presidential directive to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs to liase with the state government to provide immediate assistance to the affected traders.

The delegation comprised the Minister of Justice as the leader also had the Minister of Humanitariam Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Faruk, the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi, Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola and the President’s Spokesperson,  Mallam Garba Shehu.

They  announced a personal donation of N5 million and another N2 million by Khadimiyya for Justice and Unity, an NGO Kebbi state chapter.

The visit was attended by the Speaker Zamfara State House Assembly, Hon. Nasiru Maazu Magarya, Secretary to the Zamfara State Government, Alhaji Bala Bello Maru, Head of Service, Alhaji Kabiru Balarabe, Deputy Chief of Staff Government House, Dr. Bashir Mohammed Maru, former Deputy Governors, Mallam Ibrahim Wakkala Muhammad and Hon Muktar Ahmad Anka. 

Others include Honorary Adviser to the Governor on Inter governmental Affairs, Alhaji Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi, Commissioners, Local Government Sole administrators, Royal fathers and Senior government officials among others. 

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