Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has vowed to return the state to its past glory as the most peaceful state in the country.
Mr Matawalle made the avowal Tuesday night when he received the delegation of the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, led by its Board of Trustees Chairman, Nastura Ashir-Sharif, on courtesy call at the state liaison office in Abuja.
The governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Jamilu Birnin-Magaji, in a statement on Wednesday, quoted Mr Matawalle as saying that his administration, which came into being in May 2019, had initiated a peace dialogue with the bandits.
“The peace dialogue is essentially how best to ensure that the state returns to its past glory as the most peaceful state and to ensure that people of the state appreciate the importance of living in peace and harmony.
“This is my vision and I’m pursuing it vigorously to return the state to its past glory as the most peaceful state in the country,” the governor stressed.
While thanking the group for the visit, Governor Matawalle said his administration would partner with the coalition in the areas of good governance, peace and security.
“I am happy this is in line with the group’s agitation. You are always championing for good governance, national unity and peaceful coexistence in the country,” the governor noted.
According ot Mr Matawalle, no amount of pressure or blackmail will deter him from doing what is humanly possible to salvage the people of the state from the menace of banditry, kidnappings and other violent crimes in all parts of the state and even beyond.
Earlier, Mr Ashir-Sharif, who spoke through the spokesman of the organisation, Abdulazeez Suleiman, said the group found it necessary to visit the governor in order to appreciate what he is doing in ensuring that peace reigns in the state and the North in general.
He said the organisation fully recognised the governor’s statesmanliness in facilitating the release of the school children abducted from GSSS Kankara in Katsina State, in addition to his previous initiatives aimed at restoring public safety, law and order in the last two years.
Mr Ashir-Sharif noted that the level of vigilance and prompt intervention of the governor in these areas speaks volume of his leadership qualities as the governor.
He added that his concern and decisive action were indeed worthy of commendation and respect by all and sundry.
To this end, the group recognized a point of convergence with Zamfara State Government’s model, expressing their willingness and commitment to partner and offer every support for the noble cause of finding a permanent solution in the region.
The group observed that if the peace initiative of the governor was adopted throughout the Northern states, particularly the frontline states of Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Nasarawa, and Sokoto, the crisis would definitely end amicably.