Zamfara insecurity: Traditional rulers dare minister to name persons aiding bandits

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Zamfara State’s Council of Chiefs
has expressed dismay over the statement credited to Minister of Defence, Mansur
Ali, accusing traditional rulers of aiding bandits in the ongoing killings of
innocent villagers in the affected areas.

In a press statement issued to
journalists on Thursday, in Gusau, the state’s capital, after an emergency
meeting of the council of chiefs, the spokesperson of the chiefs and Emir of
Anka, Attahiru Ahmad, said the council challenges the Minister of Defence, Mr
Ali to name any traditional ruler involved in aiding the bandits.

Minister of Defence, had in a
statement, said intelligence had exposed the complicity of “some high-placed
traditional rulers” in the ongoing killings of Nigerians across some northern
part of the country.

The emirs said they, as a matter
of urgency, dare the minister to name the traditional rulers involved in the
reprehensible activities for the government to take measures against them.

The chiefs opined that failure to
name the traditional rulers would make Ali’s statement false and an attempt to
tarnish the good image of the traditional leaders.

The statement further said that
over the years, traditional rulers have cooperated with government and security
agents by providing necessary information about locations and names of the

It, however, said that the
government failed to act up to expectations to address the situation.

“The council noted that air
strikes undertaken by the military did not hit the main target, as areas
shelled were not actual hideouts of bandits and the victims were innocent
civilians,” the statement added.

“Report from Mutu in Gusau the
state capital and Tsafe Local Government Area, Tangaram in Anka Local
Government Area and Dumburum in Zurmi Local Government Councils among others
indicated that the areas shelled were not the actual bandits’ hideouts and the victims
were innocent peasants.

However, the statement did not
include the number of casualties hit by the misdirected air strikes in the
affected areas.

The council of chiefs said effort
to end banditry activities in Zamfara would only be achieved if the main camps
of the bandits are taken over by security personnel stationed there for a
considerable period of time.

“This will deprive the criminals’
mobility and supply routes, thus securing all the affected areas.

The council therefore, urged the
federal government to maintain its status in the fight against bandits in the
state to end the killings and kidnapping of people,” the statement highlighted.

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