President Muhammadu Buhari has lamented traditional rulers’ aiding and abetting of banditry in Zamfara State.
He expressed regrets that the development was preventing farmers from going to their farms and threatening peace in the affected communities.
Buhari made the remarks in response to concerns raised by a delegation of Zamfara Advocacy Group at the State House, Abuja, on Monday.
According to the president, the military and the police have been taking drastic measures to check the activities of some of these local elements and would stop at nothing to bring them to justice.
“I assure you, I get daily reports from people in the field and traditional rulers. I also meet regularly with the leadership of the security agencies, and they have been directed to deploy their personnel to secure the society,” President Buhari said.
Describing as “unfortunate” the “failure of local leadership in intelligence- gathering”, the president enjoined communities and traditional leaders to monitor closely the activities of people in their domain with a view to assisting law enforcement agencies to secure the communities.
Commending the new governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, for being proactive in addressing the security challenges, the president urged royal fathers to go back to their cultural roles.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Usman Balarabe, while congratulating President Buhari on his re-election, said the “situation in Zamfara remains dire”, citing increased attacks, deaths, injuries, and displacements.
According to him, “We are here because we believe Mr. President and his administration can put in place solid measures to bring about peace and security, and also mitigate the endemic poverty that has made this region one of the poorest in the world.”
The delegation, which included the wife of the governor of Kaduna State, Aisha Mohammed Ahmed, and renowned journalist, Kadaria Ahmed, called for greater collaboration among stakeholders; securing the borders, and permanently situating a major military presence in the state, among other suggestions.