President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Gusau, Zamfara, pledged to address security challenges in Zamfara before the commencement of this year’s rainy season.
The President was speaking at a town hall meeting with Zamfara traditional rulers, opinion leaders and other stakeholders at the Government House, Gusau.
He said already he had ordered massive redeployment of police officers to Zamfara with a view to addressing security challenges in the state.
“Your governor knows on how I have been in touch with the Inspector-General to redeploy a number of police officers and to reinforce those available.
“Of course I spoke to the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Defence Staff and in their exercise they have made some success, but to me they need to do much more especially the police. In every town at least there is a police station.
“They are not given uniform and the rifle just to impress anybody but they are supposed to be sending intelligence and warning that something is about to happen.
“I don’t think I will say much about the armed forces but I will like to notice and make sure that there will be improvement before the rainy season,’’ he said.
On the ongoing crusade against corruption, the president assured that he would never lose focus in his efforts to restore sanity and accountability in the management of resources in spite of the distraction from some quarters.
Mr Buhari expressed serious concern over the rate of unemployment among young Nigerians, saying his administration would continue to do its best in addressing this problem.
On the recent killing of notorious bandit, Buhari Tsoho, in the state, the president directed the nation’s intelligent units to find out more information on the deceased with a view to arresting all members of his gang.
He also challenged Zamfara state government to go to the archives and identify the grazing routes and meet with fellow governors so as to come up with strategy to check farmers/herdsmen clashes in the state.
The president, who said he was in Zamfara to console with the people of the state over the killings of innocent people and destruction of their property by bandits, apologized for the delay in refunding state governments of the funds they expended on reconstruction of federal roads.
He said he had directed the minister of Power, Works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, to compile all outstanding payments of refunds to those states that executed federal projects to specifications.
In his remarks, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara urged the federal government to refund the state’s N56 billion being the amount spent on construction of federal roads in the state.
He expressed the hope that the redound would go a long way in addressing the security problems facing the state.
The governor called for additional deployment of security personnel to the state to check incessant cases of armed banditry across 13 out of the 14 local government areas of the state.
The Secretary to the Zamfara State Government, Abdullahi Mohammed, in a presentation, gave an overview of the security challenges in the state in the last eight years resulting in loss of lives and property.
According to him, the state has been witnessing three types of security crisis, namely cattle rustling, kidnapping for ransom and reprisals attacks.
He explained that Zamfara state had identified eight major flashpoints and made a passionate appeal to the Federal government to provide more security men to the state.
In his contribution the Speaker Zamfara House of Assembly, Sanusi Garba, said a fact finding committee inaugurated in 2017 had enumerated the number of causalities recorded as a result of the activities of bandits in the state.
He is scheduled to address traditional rulers and other stakeholders during the visit, and condole with families and communities that suffered from various forms of violent crimes in the state.
Zamfara has witnessed cases of attacks by armed bandits with hundreds of innocent people killed and property worth billions of naira carted away or destroyed.
The recent attack by bandits at Birane village in Zurmi Local Government area of the state left over 50 people dead.
One of the most notorious bandits, Tsoho Buhari, popularly referred to as Buhari Daji, was recently killed by a repentant cattle rustler in the state.