Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has ruled out the possibility of banditry ending soon in the state.
The governor said this on Monday while responding to questions from journalists after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to him, banditry will not end soon in the state because of individuals using insecurity to score political point and justify their views that government was not serious about bringing a halt to the crisis.
He said, “With the kind of people we have in Zamfara State, I don’t think this issue of banditry will end very soon because, already, some people are behind it. Some people are using it.
“And all they need is at least to show Nigerians that both the federal and Zamfara State Governments are not serious on the issue of insecurity, despite the fact that some of them are involved in the crisis of this insecurity. But we’re doing our best.”
Matawalle also dismissed reports that over 200 persons were killed in recent attacks in Bukuyyum and Anka areas of the state, saying 58 people were confirmed dead by the traditional leaders.
Deadly attacks have raged across Zamfara State where bandits have thrived.
Farming and herding communities in the state have long been terrorised by gangs who raid villages, stealing cattle and kidnap residents for ransom.
Dozens of farmers have been killed as hundreds of hectres of farmlands remain uncultivated.
Most of the slain victims were trapped on their farmlands and got killed.
In 2019, the state government entered a peace agreement with the gunmen.
About 15 brand new Hilux vehicles and cash gifts were also given to leaders of different ‘repentant’ gangs of bandits by the governor in 2020.
Matawalle also approved millions of naira to be given to the ‘repentant’ bandits as compensation.
The bandits’ leaders, who got the vehicles, include Na Shama, Sani Shaidan, Mohammadu Bello Halilu and Bage Waye.
Other beneficiaries are identified as Kachalla, Ado, Busniya, Dunbulu and Gajere.