From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, who recently proposed dialogue as a strategy for ending the intractable and violent activities of bandits and kidnappers in the state, has said that he backed out of dialogue because the bandits deceived him and failed on their agreements.
He disclosed the disclosure while fielding questions from State House Correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Matawalle, who said the state now enjoys relative peace explained that the state government had been steadfast in the fight against banditry and the results of the stringent measures put in place to restore security are being seen by the people, who now feel secure.
Recalled that telecommunication equipment and operations were shut down in the state in a desperate move to halt the escalating security situation in Zamfara.
Asked if the dialogue approach was not longer an option, he said “they have deceived us. Some of them did not follow what we agreed with them. We thought it was something we could continue with them, but we later realized that they had deceived us. So, we had to back out of it and decide to fight them to a logical conclusion.
“As you know, we are there fighting and we have taken a lot of measures in order to curtail this problem of insurgency and we thank God it’s yielding a lot of results. We’ve recorded a lot of successes from what we have done.
“As you are aware, we have a lot of security personnel that were deployed to Zamfara State and they are working seriously”, he said.
On the current situation in the state at the moment, Matawalle said “the situation is calm and people are going on with their day-to-day activities, just that we have cut a lot of things, particularly moving to food stuff, animals and selling of petroleum products.
“We have imposed a lot of measures and the people are happy with the measures because the people had suffered a lot; people were being killed and kidnapped every day before, but today we have succeeded, we don’t have much of such issues in Zamfara State”, he said.