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Matawalle: Zamfara forests have become fortress for bandits

Matawalle: Zamfara forests have become fortress for bandits
January 12
19:10 2022

Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara, says forests in the state have become “fortresses” for bandits.

The governor spoke on Wednesday when a delegation of the federal government paid him a condolence visit over the recent attacks in the state.

Last week, gunmen reportedly killed over 50 people in a raid on settlements in Bukkuyum and Anka LGAs of the state.

Addressing members of the team led by Bashir Magashi, minister of defence, Matawalle called for the review of the strategy in fighting insecurity.

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The governor said Zamfara should receive “greater attention” in the fight against banditry because the state’s forests have become a fortress for bandits, who camp there, “plan, and launch” attacks on neighbouring states in the region.

“Another problem we have noticed is that despite the remarkable zeal of our troops, they lack modern equipment with which to prosecute modern warfare,” he said.

“Prosecution of modern warfare depends largely on modern war equipment and gadgets. It is very vital for these modern war instruments to be provided to our troops if we are to win this fight against banditry in Zamfara and the north-west.

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“It is evident that unless enough modern equipment is provided to our security forces to fight the war effectively, the country faces the danger of anarchy.

“This could be foreseen from the recent calls by some leaders for their people to take up arms to defend themselves. It is a recipe for lawlessness when the state loses its monopoly over the instruments of coercion.

“As a matter of urgency, the federal government should procure armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and deploy them across all parts of the country. If 1,000 APCs could be made available, they would go a long way in turning the tide of the war against the bandits in a short period of time, Insha Allah.

“I want to draw the attention of the federal government to the fact that the pockets of insurgencies in many parts of the north are interrelated. In some instances, evidence has been found of connection between Boko Haram and some of the bandit groups operating in the north-west.

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“There should be a comprehensive review of our strategy of fighting insurgency. We need a more workable plan of action tailored explicitly in tune with the realities on the ground. This is a clarion call for us to step up efforts in this fight before the dreadful monster consumes our region and the country as a whole.

“I would like to add that any strategy to be drawn for fighting banditry and all forms of insurgency should focus greater attention on Zamfara state. Our forests have become fortresses for bandits, from where they plan and launch attacks to other parts of the northwest.”

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