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Matawalle hosts Nigerien Prime Minister, seeks unified front in fighting banditry

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In his determination to continue exploring ways of fostering lasting peace in Zamfara State, Governor Bello Matawalle, has hosted the Prime Minister of Niger Republic, Brigi Refini.

A statement signed by the governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Zailani Bappa, said the meeting was a prelude to the establishment of a “powerful synergy to fight the criminals in a unified direction”.

Mr Refini, who was received by Governor Matawalle at the Council Chambers in Gusau, expressed his excitement at the new found International discourse to end cross-border criminality.

The prime-minister noted that banditry and terrorism is not peculiar to Nigeria, saying his country also faces the same from multiple fronts.

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He disclosed that internal strife akin to Zamfara banditry was not new in the Niger, especially resulting from Boko Haram and insurgencies in Mali down to Burkina Faso.

While acknowledging the efforts of Governor Matawalle in tackling the menace, Mr Refini assured that the synergy would bring new ideas and understanding on how to collectively end the criminality.

In his remarks, Governor Matawalle said he was awed by the Prime Minister’s response to visit the state, in spite of his tight schedules.

“When I told President Muhammadu Buhari of your coming, he was very much elated and extended his goodwill to you.

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“He has also asked me to call on you to continue assisting in ending the menace of criminality in our two countries,” Mr Matawalle stated.

Governor Matwalle also extended the request of the Inspector-General of Police, Abdullahi Adamu, to the Prime Minister in the area of blocking the transit of weapons into the country.

“We are aware that due to the pressure on those who smuggle weapons into Nigeria on vehicles, they have now resorted to the use of camels.

“I have decided to assist with five vans for surveillance in addition to drones we have already given to the border security of Niger,” Mr Matawalle explained.

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