Zamfara gunmen are terrorists, not bandits —Akeredolu

CHAIRMAN of the South-West Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, on Tuesday, said those behind criminalities in Zamfara State are not bandits, saying they should rather be regarded as terrorists. 

This is as President Muhammadu Buhari charged heads of security agencies to end what he termed selective abductions and killings, particularly in the North-East and North-Central states of the country. 

Nigerian troops, in both aerial and land bombardment, had dealt heavy blow to the camp of bandits terrorising the state, killing yet-to-be specified number in a coordinated operation, as the state had become the epicentre of banditry in the country, with daily reports of kidnapping, abductions and killings. 

Akeredolu, while receiving members of the governing board of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), led by the chairman, Dr Godknows Boladie Igali and the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Joseph Adeola Fuwape, lamented that Nigerians were living in fear stemming from unending insecurity across the country. 

He consequently maintained that something must be done urgently to address the situation in order to restore the hope of the people and to make the country a liveable place, so that the young ones will be confident and have hope to live in this country. 

He said, “People are living in fear and something must be done urgently to address the situation and restore hope to the minds of the people. 

“Look at what is happening in Zamfara. They try to clothe it and call them bandits. They are terrorists.” 

Speaking on open grazing, the governor stressed the need for the country to embrace modern ways of animal husbandry, describing open grazing as old and now illegal in the state. He said, 

“Today, I can say there are modern ways of animal husbandry and we have to take the bull by the horns. We are not afraid to take decisions. 

“Modernity has taught us that you can extract more milk from cows in a modern way better than when you take them from one place to another. It is about science. People have developed that science.” 

Speaking on the growth of science and technology in the country, Akeredolu noted that “For us in science and technology, we need to do more. 

“Japanese, Chinese and other developed countries send people to where science is the best. We have heard of countries that send their people to the United States to train on science and technology. 

“They didn’t stay there. They went back to their country to develop it. Commitment to one’s country is key. 

“But we need to make this country a liveable place so that the young ones will be confident and have hope to live in this country.” 

While charging the security chiefs, President Buhari, at a security meeting at the State House, said efforts were already yielding positive results in the North-East and South-East. Speaking to newsmen after the meeting, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, said the president also directed them to redouble their efforts to restore security across the country, so that citizens can go about their normal businesses. 

Baba said: “Yes, we had a brief security meeting. Service chiefs and the intelligence chiefs were able to brief the president on the security situation in the country. 

“The president also observed and made a remark that the constitutional responsibility of government is the provision of security and he is ready to provide such. 

“He said we should reinvigorate our efforts, which are yielding results in the North-East and South-East, but added that there is more to be done in the NorthCentral and North-West, where people are worried and where he has intelligence and information that schoolchildren and students are being abducted; where selective abductions and killings are done. He said this narrative must change. 

“We have assured and promised him that we’ll make efforts to do more. He also thanked and praised us for what has been done so far, and he added that we should improve so that people can go about their lawful businesses within the quickest possible time.” 

Baba said the president further gave marching orders to security chiefs, saying, “The new marching order is that all the service and intelligence chiefs have been warned to go and reinvigorate efforts and to do more so that the North-Central and Nigeria at large can enjoy better security.” 

Also speaking, the Minister of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (retd), expressed government’s concern over the security situation in Zamfara State and the North-Central. 

While assuring that government is determined to change the situation, Magashi said: “We believe that the spate at which these things are happening in Zamfara State and North-Central is a source of concern to the government and to all agencies that are responsible for the execution of the operations in the North-Central.”


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