Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Embattled Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, on Thursday said that he was ready to sacrifice his position should a state of emergency be imposed on his state on account of the worsening insecurity.
He declared that he was not merely playing “politics,” with his call for a state of emergency in the state.
He stated this while speaking to State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Yari also assured that the lingering cases of armed banditry in the state won’t affect the forthcoming elections, adding that the bandits were not occupying any territory in the state.
Yari who said he met the President over the security situation in the state, noted that the issue was being exaggerated.
According to him, some politicians had suggested a declaration of a state of emergency on the wrong assumption that he would be afraid to loss his office.
Yari further assured that he was prepared to do anything that would ensure peace and security in the state.
He said he was not playing politics with is pronouncement, adding: “Yes, we are there as a government because it is the lives of people we are talking about; if there are no lives we won’t be there. So, I did not make that statement because of politics but because of the way some other people are looking at it. Since my assumption of office, I have never taken insecurity as a political matter; I look at it as criminality and I approach it in that way.
“Some other politicians have been calling for a state of emergency since three years ago. Then, I said to myself, if a state of emergency would solve the problem then Yari is ready to go.”
Asked whether he discussed the declaration of a state of emergency with Buhari, he said: “Not at all.”
According to him, if the security agencies were serious, the insecurity in Zamfara State could be easily brought under control.
“You are aware of what is happening in Zamfara State, and some parts of the neighbouring states regarding banditry, abduction and insurgency; so it’s important that I come forward to brief Mr President on the situation on ground which I have just done.
“We sit down as heads of security agencies in the state with all other stakeholders and review the situation and come up with the report we think will help the security agencies and Mr. President to strategise so that we can solve the problem.
“There is no place being occupied by the armed bandits in Zamfara State. They (bandits) live and operate in the forest. They strike and run. Most of their camps are known by the locals,” he said.
Regretting that policemen redeployed from the state to other states following President Buhari’s directive had not been replaced, he recalled that the president had directed that policemen who had spent three years and above in the area be redeployed as a strategy to address the armed banditry in the state.
On the situation at the moment, Yari said: “The state is calm now; we are doing our best to ensure that normalcy returns; we have started getting results; we believe strongly that with what we have on ground in terms of the number of security personnel, if they take their job seriously, within a short time, we will get out of this situation and we hope with the encouragement of the president, we believe in no time, the issues will be behind us.”