Vice Chairman of Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara, Alhaji Sani Galadima, opened up to the Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen. Abdurrahman Dambazau (retd), yesterday, on how councils in the state pay millions of naira, in ransom, to bandits.
This did not, however, deter the bandits as they killed six members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) in the state, on Sunday.
Galadima made this known to Dambazau, who was on a visit to the state, as part of efforts by the Federal Government to find sustainable solutions to the security challenges in the state.
“Six members of the Civilian JTF were attacked and killed on Sunday, by bandits, after receiving their payments from Shinkafi town and were on their way back to their villages.
“Even yesterday (Sunday), these bandits sent a letter to the district head of Shinkafi town (saying) that they were coming to attack Shinkafi.
“This ugly situation is very disheartening. Everyday, we pay millions of naira as ransom to these bandits.
“We really need government’s urgent support to end this problem.
“Our women also suffer a lot (because) the bandits attack communities and abduct ladies from their parents’ homes. People no longer sleep with their two eyes closed in the night in Shinkafi LGA.
“We want government to solve the issue of shortage of manpower including the army and police personnel.
“We only have 19 soldiers in this town.
“We need urgent intervention from government; we are not satisfied with the efforts and strategies of security agencies.
“We all know the camps where these bandits stay; even the security men are aware of these camps; our major concern is that security personnel are not getting to these bandits.
“We are hoping that with this visit, this problem will come to an end,” Galadima said.
According to the council boss, at least 98 communities in Shinkafi LGA have been deserted, due to the activities of bandits in the state.
In his remarks, Dambazau, who was also in Anka Local Government Area, said he was in the state on assessment visit to stakeholders, over the security challenges facing the state.
“This is not my first visit to Zamfara; we started this process to ensure lasting solutions to these problems not only in Zamfara state.
“President (Muhammadu) Buhari asked me to visit Shinkafi and Anka emirates in Zamfara, to carry out the assessment and discuss these issues.
“The president also expresses his condolences over loss of lives and destruction of properties as a result of this insecurity.
“It is the responsibility of government to ensure lives and properties are secure.
“That is why as government we must do everything to ensure the end of this situation.
“We commenced this process by meeting with leaders of Miyetti Allah; we are going to consult with traditional rulers and governors of the most affected states,” Dambazau stated.
Emir of Shinkafi, Alhaji Muhammad Makwashe-Isah, expressed appreciation to the minister for the visit and urged the Federal Government to do more in fighting banditry in the state.