Mohammed Munirat Nasir, Gusau
As Muslims in Zamfara joins their counterparts around the world to celebrate Eid al-Fitr Sallah, Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle has warmed recalcitrant bandits to embrace the state government’s dialogue and reconciliation initiative or face the full wrath of the law.
Governor Matawalle gave the warning in a statewide Sallah broadcast to mark the end of this year’s Ramadan fast.
The governor said though his administration is committed to the dialogue and reconciliation initiative, he will spare no effort in enforcing the security of lives and property of the people of the state.
‘We are committed to honouring our agreement with the bandits who chose to lay down their arms and embrace peace, but at the same time we will confront those who reneged from the agreement with the full force of the law,’ he said.
Governor Matawalle commiserated with families affected by the recent wave of banditry in Unguwar Rogo, Karda, Bidda, Kajera and Kabaje villages of Tsafe and Kaura Namoda local government areas of the state.
He said since the recent incidents, he has been working round the clock holding meetings with the security chieftains and other stakeholders in the state and receiving regular briefs from them on the issue.
‘We have also received assurances from the leaders of the Fulani groups, which have embraced our peace overtures, that they would reach out to the recalcitrant groups responsible for the attacks and persuade them to accept our peace pact,’ he said.
The governor called on the people of the state to adhere to the safety measures such as wearing of face masks, avoiding crowded places and ensuring social distancing in all meetings and congregations throughout the Sallah festivity and beyond.
‘We will continue to intensify measures aimed at ensuring your safety and controlling further spread of the coronavirus in the state. Only last Tuesday, I launched sample collection booths at Yariman Bakura Specialist Hospital, Gusau. The project is the largest zero-contact testing centre in Nigeria and was undertaken by Zamfara State Government,’ he said.
The governor said the pandemic has taken a huge toll not only on human lives but also on the social and economic spheres of the state.
‘In consideration of this and in keeping with the tradition of providing support to our people during Ramadan, we have expended the sum of N2,920,306,500 for Ramadan feeding and purchase of grains for distribution to our teeming civil servants on a subsidised loan,’ he disclosed.
He said the state government also spent N55,200,000 for procurement of 280 cows which were distributed to civil servants, groups and communities to mark the 1441 AH Sallah festival.
‘We have equally distributed a consignment of shadda and atamfa clothing materials to 40,000 orphans across the state to enable them have new dresses for this Sallah celebration,’ he revealed in the broadcast.