From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an immediate response to rising cases of bandits’ attacks on communities in Zamfara State.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement, yesterday, said, Buhari, in a directive to National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), ordered that there must be a clear pathway to ending the resurgent banditry that has continued to cost lives and the displacement of thousands of families from their towns and villages.
Shehu said: “In this respect, a meeting is soon to take place that will deliberate on security and the issue of illegal mining which is fuelling the crisis in Zamfara State. In addition to NSA the convener, the meeting will be attended by Major-General Bashir Magashi (Rtd), Ra’uf Aregbesola and Olamilekan Adegbite, ministers of defence, interior, and mines and steel respectively. Also to attend the meeting are the Directors-General of the Department of State Services, DSS, and National Intelligence Agency( NIA.) Beyond the problems of bandits and cattle rustlers in the state , the scale of lawlessness has been aggravated by illegal miners who are harvesting resources they have no legal rights to exploit.
“Official statistics suggest that there are more than 20,000 such miners undermining this important part of the economy, operating in a manner that is extraordinarily harmful and destructive. The result is chaos. This meeting is expected to address these and associated issues of corruption, government oversight and lawlessness.”
Speaker, Zamfara State House of Assembly, Nasir Magarya, recently wrote to President Buhari and appealed to him to intervene and stop the incessant killings by bandits in the state.