Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State, yesterday gave a two month ultimatum to bandits to lay down their arms and embrace peace initiated by his government or face the full weight of the military and other security agencies The governor, who gave the ultimatum after he received Service Chiefs at Government House Gusau, lamented that despite the peace and dialogue policy approach that yielded some positive result “there are still some defiant bandits who refused to embrace peace and withdraw from banditry”. Matawalle noted that those bandits who choose to embrace peace had demonstrated the love for the wellbeing of the state, but others who had refused to lay down their arms would surely be dealt with according to military action.
Meanwhile, traditional rulers in the state have faulted the federal government’s no-flights-zone placed on Zamfara air space by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying flights across the space of the state have nothing to do with mining activities or insecurity in the state. Chairman Council of Chiefs in the state, Alhaji Attahiru Anka, told the Service Chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff , CDS, General Lucky Irabor, at the government house when they paid a courtesy call on Governor Matawalle that there was never any existing crime relationship between the artisanal miners and the bandits in the state. He said there were instances when bandits organised and launched attacks on miners at the sites and took hundreds of them as hostages, arguing that if the miners and bandits were comrades in crimes such attacks on the miners would not have occurred.
According to him, “the flights across the space of the state have nothing to do with mining activities in the state and have no connection with the issue of insecurity in the state. We believe that bandits’ activities persist simply because there are inadequate security personals to combat the menace.” He appealed to the federal government to deploy more troops with modern war equipments for better results.