Armed Bandits Beg for Peace Dialogue in Zamfara Despite Military Onslaught… Overture is rejected by Governor Matawalle.
Armed bandits have been driven to seek a peace dialogue with the administration of Zamfara State as a result of the ongoing military offensive.
The governor of Zamfara, Bello Matawalle, who announced the new development, however, stated that his government is no longer interested in dialogue with the bandits because they rejected the olive branch extended to them previously.
He added the coordinated security operation to drive out criminal gangs from the state is progressing well.
He claimed that the bandits’ agents told him that they had repented and wanted to talk to the government.
He noted that some of the bandits were running out of Zamfara to other states as a result of the new security measures introduced by the state government.
“My administration will no longer grant amnesty to bandits as they have failed to embrace the peace initiative earlier extended to them,’’ the governor said while addressing a congregation.
Matawalle warned politicians against giving any form of support to bandits, stressing that: “politicians should fear God and stop buying motorcycles to distribute to people who, in turn, sell to bandits to perpetuate their evil acts.’’
The governor also said that the Zamfara government would prosecute any politician caught in the act.
Matawalle had established the Special Taskforce to enforce measures to address the lingering security challenges of mass kidnapping for ransom and cattle rustling in the state.
On Aug. 26, the governor signed an Executive Order suspending all weekly markets in Zamfara, banned bicycles and motorcycles from carrying more than one passenger and not more than three passengers in the case of tricycles.
The state government had also established a Special Taskforce to ensure full compliance with the order while mobile courts were set up to prosecute violators.
Meanwhile, commercial activities in the state have been halted following the two weeks suspension of telecommunication networks in the state by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).
All banking services, mobile telephone services, internet and other related services have also been suspended.
He urged residents to be patient and to support new security measures put in place to flush out bandits and their collaborators to restore peace in the state.