Following a renewed wave of banditry in Zamfara State, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered security agencies to mobilize their personnel in Zamfara State to halt it.
The Commander-in-Chief’s order came as the Governor of Zamfara, Mr Bello Matawalle, briefed him on the latest security situation in the state, urging him to intervene urgently.
He told State House correspondents after meeting the President that insecurity has escalated since the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) following the nationwide ENDSARS protests.
According to him, 20 people were killed on Wednesday in Talata Mafara Local Government which he necessitated his visit to the Presidential Villa to solicit for immediate intervention of the president.
He said: “I came to brief Mr. President on the current security situation in the state. After the disbandment of SARS we had some challenges, particularly day before yesterday about 20 people were killed in Talata Mafara Local Government Area. So I am soliciting for Mr. President to intervene and see how we can have more security personnel to secure the state’s territory.
“I also informed him about some illegal miners’ activities taking place in the state. We have been able to form committee, a task force on illegal mining so that they can go round the state and fish out those behind the illegal mining activities.
“Most of the illegal miners are not Nigerians but with the support of army, police and other security agencies in the state, some of them were apprehended and repatriated to their respective countries. Those were the two issues we discussed with Mr. President.”
When reminded that SARS was disbanded because of allegations of extortion, rape and extra judicial killings and if he was not worried they could repeat same in the state, Matawalle replied the disbanded police unit did well in the state.
He said: “To me, in Zamfara State, SARS are doing very well because they are tracking those criminals and prosecuting them, particularly those in the high area, SARS has the capacity to track and bring them to justice. So, to me, in Zamfara State we are in need of SARS, we know with their presence we have experienced peace in the state.
“…I am not saying it must be SARS, whatever name will be given to it, we want them in our state. We did not experience any of those things they did that caused them to be disbanded in my state.”
On the President Buhari’s response, Matawalle said: “He directed the Chief of Staff to the president to take measures to connect with other relevant government agencies that we have discussed with about the issue of security. So, the Chief of Staff will contact the army, police and other security agencies to mobilize more security to the state with immediate effect.
“Over 30 illegal miners have been deported from the state. We have deported 11 Chinese and over 20 from Burkina Faso and Mali. You know we have the problem of a very porous border particularly from Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Niger Republic.
“People use to cross freely but with the measures that have been taken by Nigeria Immigration Services, I know they have deployed some drones on this border to checkmate the movement of other nationals into Nigeria.
“ I am confident that very soon we won’t have the problem of other nationals illegally come into our country anymore.”