“Some politicians have been calling for state of emergency; I said to myself, ‘if state of emergency would solve the problem, then, Yari is ready to go.'”
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Embattled Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, has expressed his willingness to sacrifice his position, should a state of emergency be imposed on the state on account of its worsening insecurity.
He said his call for a state of emergency was not mere playing of “politics”.
He said this, yesterday, while addressing State House Correspondents, after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Yari, also expressed confidence that the lingering cases of armed banditry in the state won’t affect the forthcoming elections, adding that they are not occupying any territory in the state.
The governor, who said he met the president over the security situation in the state, added that the issue of armed banditry is being exaggerated.
He said some politicians had suggested the declaration of state of emergency on the wrong assumption that he would be afraid to leave office.
The governor assured his readiness to do anything that would ensure peace and security in the state.
“Yes, we are there as a government because its people’s lives we are talking about; if there are no lives we won’t be there, therefore I did not make that statement out of politics because of the way some people are looking at it politically. Since my inception, I’ve never taken insecurity as a political affair, but, I look at it as criminality and I approach it in the way that it can be solved. Some politicians have been calling for state of emergency since three years ago; then, I said to myself, ‘if state of emergency would solve the problem, then, Yari is ready to go.'”
Asked whether he discussed the declaration 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 part of the neighbouring state on the issue of banditry abduction and insurgency, so, it’s important that I come forward to brief Mr President on the situation on ground which I just did.
We sat down as heads of security in the state and all other stakeholders where we reviewed the situation and come with the report that we think will help the security agencies there, through Mr. President, to strategise, so they can curb the problem.
“There is no place being occupied by the armed bandits in Zamfara state. They live and operate in the forest. They strike and run. Most of the camps are known by locals,” he said.
Lamenting the absence of police in many parts of the state, he said policemen redeployed from the state, following president Buhari’s directive, have not been replaced.