From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Zamfara State Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Dosara, disclosed on Thursday that military operations in the state have denied bandits access to food, the outlaws resorting to eating raw okra and grass to survive.
He said the state government set up a military anti-bandit operation a month ago, adding that the operation has been very effective.
Dosara said the state will soon be rid of bandits as they can no longer have access to food, just as 80 per cent of the bandits have fled to neighbouring Sokoto State.
Addressing reporters in Kaduna, the commissioner said there were highly placed individuals in the society among the arrested bandits’ informants, adding that they are already providing useful information to the state government.
The information commissioner informed that the state government may reconnect the shutdown mobile telecommunications network in the state before the end of the week.
Dosara urged the public to disregard campaigns of calumny against the operation and those playing down the success of the operation.
He noted that those who benefited from the bandits’ activities in the state and those who are supplying the bandits have engaged social media and sections of the traditional media to sponsor fake news against the operation.
‘After the military operation, we have succeeded in our campaign against bandits and kidnappers in many respects. Over 2,000 informants have been arrested and they are now providing information regarding their operation, the way they collaborated with the bandits, who and who are involved in the banditry.
‘The military operation has succeeded in making the bandits flee Zamfara State, so many bandits have been neutralised, 80% of the bandits in Zamfara State have gone to Sokoto State. Sokoto State government is trying to push them out or neutralise them. Just 20% of the bandits are in Zamfara or Katsina State.
‘The state government set up a situation room for information and data collection, these data are sieved, analysed and action taken. We are successful in the operation in the sense that many bandits have been neutralised by security operatives in the state and others have been forced to take Okra and grasses as food in the farms to survive because they have been cut out from the supply of food, drugs and fuel”.
Dosara commended the people of Zamfara state for generally accepting the measures introduced by the state government to ensure a lasting solution to the issue of banditry in the state.
‘The people supported and cooperated with us. As part of the success, the Zamfara State Government has decided to make available relief package to the people to ease the hardship of the measures rice, maize sorghum will be distributed to the people of the state.
‘Because of the hardship the bandits are suffering, they have now resulted to using camels to perpetrate their heinous acts. Government is happy and is considering opening up the mobile network services in the state before the end of this week,’ the commissioner said.