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PRESIDENTIAL MATCHING ORDER ON AMNESTY FOR BANDITS, A DECLARATION OF ROAD-BLOCK FOR ZAMFARA “PEACE DEAL”

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         THUNDER BLOWERS EDITORIAL

“State governments must review their policy of rewarding bandits with money and vehicles. Such a policy has the potential to backfire with disastrous consequences. State and Local Governments must also play their part by being proactive in improving security in and around schools. (President Muhammadu Buhari via his personal verified Twitter handle)”



Again 



“The government shall continue to deal with insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, and other criminals who constitute a threat to innocent citizens across the country”.



“Criminals are criminals and should be dealt with accordingly, without resorting to ethnic profiling. I have already tasked the new Service Chiefs to devise new strategies that will end this ugly situation where the lives of our people continue to be threatened by hoodlums and criminals. President Muhammadu Buhari during a stakeholders meeting of Northern Governors and Northern Traditional Rulers held in Kaduna on Thursday”.


For us the statements by President Buhari has brought an end to a series of agitations by the public for Zamfara State Governor to stand down his peace deal and face the bandits squarely. There should be no second way about it.



Earlier than now, there have been unending agitations by concerned stakeholders and security experts on the need for the Governor to be realistic and allow full military operations to be conducted in securing Zamfara State.


No doubt his mind and intention at the beginning of the “peace deal” may be good, but to be honest with Governor Matawalle, some interests have hijacked his good will about the peace deal and the resultant effects of the unending attacks on the innocent civilians and in Zamfara since the middle of 2019 is a clear scientific evidence to prove it.



One does not need scientific hypothesis to arrive at a conclusion that the bandits are taking advantage of the open weaknesses of the government to turn this badit activity into a money making venture hence they have at every point in time acted differently from the negotiation they have entered with the government by embarking on massive killings and abduction for ransom.


In 2020 alone one cannot count the number of attacks they have launched against dozens of communities in Zamfara especially in Anka, Bungudu, Maru, Tsafe, Zurmi, Maradun,  Shinkafi, Gusau and Kaura Namoda



For instance in November 2020 they have invaded worshipers during prayer in a mosque in Maru, killed five worshipers and abducted 40 others.


In November also, same bandits abducted 12 senior police officers who were on special duty to Zamfara and demanded for ransom.



In 2020, they have attacked Gidan Goga village several times and also killed and abducted scores of people in Maradun the Governor’s hometown.



Around January 2021 they attacked Janbako and many villages in Maradun killed and abducted many people.


Same bandits who have been allegedly negotiating with Zamfara state government have been involved in the abduction and kidnapping of 26 women along Zamfara border with Katsina which the Governor later intervened and secured their release.



They are also allegedly involved in the abduction of over 300 students from GSSS kankara in 2020 a scenario that attracted the attention of the international community.


You can go on and on to mention several criminal activities allegedly perpetrated by these bandits who pretend they are in the peace deal with the state government and do things differently.



On the argument whether the government of Zamfara is inducing the bandits with money and vehicles as part of the negotiation one must be able to draw a line of interpretation in the statement of the president as captured in the opening of this editorial above but for sure President Muhammadu Buhari must be sending a message across some Governors who took to negotiation with bandits as an option.


Now the President has spoken and
I think Zamfara State government needs to actively listen to the message of President Muhammad Buhari that “negotiation with the bandits is not the way to go” and that message must be respected.



As for those who argued that it is because the federal government has failed in its own constitutional duty of securing lives and properties of the people we equally share that sentiment but let time speak now and if after collapsing the peace deal the killings and kidnapping continues with no serious effort to avert it, then we can hold President Muhammad Buhari and his federal government responsible.


Governor Bello Matawalle needs to as a matter of urgency make the declaration of putting an end to the peace initiative and come back to redesign his security architecture by engaging active and honest people to manage his state security outfits for him.



Anything short of the declaration by the Governor especially during this trying moment will amount to continued suspicion of the Governor’s sincerity of ending this banditry


The Governor also needs to effect an urgent reform in his state security structure by engaging capable hands who can do the job better.



I may be forced to share the sentiment of Ahmad Abubakar Maradun, former Commissioner in Zamfara State who asserted that, “the CP and other heads of security agencies in Zamfara may be more comfortable working with a state security head who is their senior in the job because he may have many things to offer than those in the position of things now”.


There is no doubt Zamfara state is blessed with highly experienced security experts that served the country better and in different capacities and to the best of my knowledge they will be very much willing to accept the responsibilities if they are able to ascertain the sincerity of the Governor.



Zamfara has produced a retired Inspector General of Police, a police DIG and AIG many retired Police Commissioners added with many senior military officers who held high level positions, and they are now retired and the experiences of these people should be useful to the government of Zamfara state in managing this kind of problem we have at hand.


Again the government needs to refocuss its attention to the use of resource persons from the academia because they have a lot to contribute in the eradication of this social crises.



The recent surrender of arms and ammunition by those who claimed to have repented is sincerely doubtful considering the facts that their surrender has not aided in minimizing the menace and carnages to some reasonable strategies.


“If the killings have reduced what about the abduction, it is absolutely in the rise and this is to show that it is just a change of strategy by the bandits” Prof. T.M Baba Professor of Criminology said in one of our interviews last year (2020).



Governor Matawalle and his aides should accept the reality that the “peace initiative” has failed and this has been the testimony of even those within the government just that they cannot say it in the open.


There is nothing wrong in changing strategy in the middle of the war if the one being applied is leading to failure.



The Governor should collapse the peace deal as part of respecting the Presidential order and also support the troops to declare a total war against the bandits.



If at the end of the whole thing they personally opted for peace and reconciliation, government can look at the option.


We would like to reiterate the position of my learned Professor of Criminology, Prof. T.M Baba that “you can’t negotiate with criminals or those who rise against the state without them accepting the match to defeat”.



One needs to take a typical example of Nigerian Civil War in the late sixties and early seventies, before Gowon accepted to reconcile with Ojukwu and Biafran advocates he had to prove to them that the Nigerian government was actually in charge, and they all had to accept that simple reality.


It is our belief that the recent abduction of female students in Jangebe and public reaction against some governmen
t officials and journalists on Friday should serve as a clear indicator of why Matawalle led government should crash this peace deal.



We know what we saw at Jangebe and listened clearly to the public reaction, it has some greater signs that people of Zamfara have been pushed to the wall and I am sure the days ahead would be much harder for the government if it decides to go the old way.


“It is not too late to rethink but it is better we think earlier and act faster.

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HOW CP YUSUF KOLO IS CHANGING THE SECURITY  NARRATIVE IN ZAMFARA STATE

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Monday Editorial

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It has become clearly imperative for this medium to blow the trumpet for the newly deployed Commissioner of Police Mr. Yusuf Kolo who since his deployment has helped change the security narrative about the genuine fight against armed banditry in the state.

 

The deployment of this experienced Police officer has no doubt assisted greatly in improving the security situation of Zamfara state especially the stellar measures he adopted which are increasing social and economic stability in the state.

Reading about his CV and the career he has built in the service of the Nigeria Police Force, it has no doubt raised the hope of the people because for sometimes now Zamfara people had been agitating for deployment of capable Police officer who is vast in terms of security management and fighting insecurity.

 

For sometimes now, Thunder Blowers had carefully observed that, there is effective patrol and surviellance along the major highways in Zamfara State From Gada-Biyu Round about to Bimasa the Zamfara border town with Sokoto, one may clearly understand that this fine Police officer and gentleman Mr. Yusuf Kolo is ready to deliver his best to the restoration of security architecture  in Zamfara state.

This strategy is also effective at the Gusau-Kaura-Namoda and  Gusau-Gurbin Bore border with Katsina and Gusau-Tsafe-Yankara highways respectively. Within the capital city of Gusau again, there are various check-points mounted within all the strategic positions of Gusau and criminality has really reduced to the barest minimum.

 

It is evident that, there is serious stop-and-search operations in all the strategic locations in the state. and the recent arrest of some miscreants involved in various criminal activities is a clear indicator that, things are getting better with the new Police Commissioner’s arrival.

 

It is on record that, since his  assumption in office there has never been a major armed banditry attack in Zamfara except that of Zugu which took place at the bridge of his taking-over of the mantle of leadership of the State Police Command.

His tour of the divisions and formations across the state and his interaction with the officers on Duty Posts has really risen the hope of the people of the state. More importantly, the visitation to the traditional institutions and his engagement with them which had surely manifested in his recent achievements recorded.

 

We were keenly apt at the manner at which the Police Commissioner is personally moving round the streets of Gusau at the dark of the night to monitor the conduct of the operations of his men. His pictures are all over the social media moving with the other galant police officers working with full force to ensure that people slept with their two  eyes closed.

Residents of  areas of Gusau and outskirts including Damba, Tsunami, Mareri and  the rest are all grateful to this visionary tactical Police officer Mr. Yusuf Kolo for his commitment to ensuring that their hearts are at rest. For instance,from Lalan  to Damba,the level of Police enforcement along that area in the night is adding to the relative stability of the people.

 

What inspired people more is the manner at which the Police Commissioner Mr. Yusuf Kolo has effectively but tactically engaged the Nigerian Bar Association to develop strategies on how to jointly speed up the administration of criminal justice system in the state.

Our prayer is for the Police Commissioner to passionately sustain the momentum and continue to work hand in hand with the critical stakeholders to double this commitment, It is indeed wonderful and promising if the momentum is sustained.

 

Our conclusion on the steawardship of Police commissioner Mr. Yusuf Kolo is that his achievements speak volumes that he is matching his  academic credentials, his experience with these practical achievements.

 

We at Thunder Blower wish  you all the best as your partners in the fight against crime and insecurity in Zamfara  State.

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ONLY GENUINE MECHANISM OF RECONCILIATION CAN ENSURE THE SUCCESS OF APC IN ZAMFARA

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By virtue of the reconciliation we are all part of Governor Bello Matawalle family and he needs to treat all of us with justice and fairness. It is only justice and fairness that can guarantee solidarity and peaceful political atmosphere.
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Hon. Abubakar Yanware is a die-hard supporter of the former Governor of Zamfara Abdulaziz Yari Abubakar and a strong stakeholder in the ruling All Progressives Congress APC in Zamfara state.

He was among the APC aspirants that contested for the State Assembly post from Tsafe and wanted to contest the APC Primaries for 2023 elections with the current Deputy Speaker of Zamfara Hon. Musa Bawa Tsafe before the APC reconciliation dashed away the hope of  people like him.

He shared his perspectives with the Managing Editor regarding the political reconciliation in the Zamfara APC and raise his concern on matters arising and also shared his perspectives on what is to be done to ensure that the party remains strong and united.

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WHAT IS YOUR ASSESSMENT OF THE ON-GOING RECONCILIATION IN ZAMFARA APC?

Well, people have their own ways of assessing a political situation or rather have their different ways of reacting to a situations especially when issues involved politics and political developments but for me, there are more to see than one can understand about the Zamfara APC reconciliation.

The leaders namely former Governor Yari, Governor Matawalle and Sen. Kabiru Marafa may be entering into the peace deal with all sense of sincerity because they may want to bring an end to the lingering crises in the APC, but that may not be a true reflection of the mindset of their supporters.

And remember, they have a limit to which they can influence the same spirit into the minds of their supporters because decision-making in politics goes with the perception of the game players here I mean the party supporters.

So, the leaders of the APC in Zamfara, especially Governor Matawalle and former Governor Yari need to take time and make review of the progress recorded from the reconciliation and begin to reach out to their genuine supporters.

I will say this with clear voice our supporters from the site of Yari the former Governor still have reservations with this reconciliation arrangement within Zamfara APC and something very urgent needs to be done to save the party from collapsing.

FROM YOUR PERCEPTION, IT SEEMS MANY PEOPLE WITHIN THE APC ESPECIALLY FROM THE CAMP OF YARI AND MARAFA HAVE NOT ACCEPTED THE RECONCILIATION?

This is the reality of the situation many people have reservation about this Zamfara APC reconciliation and our leaders need to accept this as the true reflection of what is on the ground and begin to reach out to their supporters.

I am not part of those objecting to the reconciliation and all my supporters are with the reconciliation move hundred percent because I make sure that the moment the political reconciliation was perfected by our leaders I came back home and put my house in order by appealing to my supporters to forget the differences and join hand with the former Governor Yari in the new move.

But I am telling you, many of my political status across the (14) local governments especially those from the camp of former Governor Yari can not convince their supporters to accept the peace initiative entered into by our leaders and this shall be seen as a big problem because you cannot be relying on uncertain political structure to win election.

The feedback we are receiving from the communities is that people cannot be forced to continue to accept decision in the APC without them being properly consulted and this is the exact problem with the current arrangements entered into by our leaders, and for me, their resistance is a concern that need to be addressed with all sense of urgency.

BUT ARE YOUR POLITICAL LEADERS ESPECIALLY FORMER GOVERNOR YARI AWARE Of THIS DEVELOPMENTS?

I am sure he must be aware because he has ears to the ground and I believed from the exit of strong party men like Maibuhu Gummi and rest the former Governor must understand that all is not well with the reconciliation move within his camp.

The Governor, on the other hand, must understand that Yari is facing resistance from his supporters because steps that are supposed to be taken to ensure justice and fairness to all party members were not instituted.

Former Governor Yari may not speak this out for some strategic reasons but as wings to the politics of Yari we have to say this with all sense of modesty that politicians from Yari camp need to be accommodated so that their supporters can feel a sense of belonging politically.

WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU WANT GOV. YARI TO DO IN MANAGING THIS TYPE OF SITUATION.

I think the former Governor has done his best because since when the political reconciliation started he has been taking steps to ensure that his supporters are contacted, and I know how active he has been working to ensure that sanity is restored within his camp.

I believe it is not enough because time is not on our site and campaign will soon start and there is strong need to reach out to the people because the resistance is really telling bad of our political chances.

Recently, we have lost many people to PDP, and it is not to our best interest politically and all these are happening because there are no extended consultations with the members of the party at the grassroots.

If it means the former Governor should form a committee of consultation, so be it because it is important we get this problem addressed before the main campaign started.

WHAT DO YOU THINK, GOV. MATAWALLE SHOULD HAVE DONE TO SUPPORT YARI CAMP WHO ARE MOST AGGRIEVED IN THIS ARRANGEMENT?

The Governor needs to open his government and accommodate those serious hands from the camp of Yari so that they can have a sense of belonging politically.

By virtue of the reconciliation we are all part of his family members and he needs to treat all of us with justice and fairness and it is only justice and fairness that can guarantee solidarity and peaceful political atmosphere.

We knew the Governor may be facing similar challenges from his camp also, but that is the spirit of political reconciliation because the arrangements shall be “no-winner-no loser”.

Yari camp shall be given posts of Commissioners, Special Advisers and Council Sole Administrators that is justice and if this is done many concerns coming from supporters that have made sacrifices for Yari can be addressed.

Many of my readers would be looking at my position to be too primitive, but that is the only way out. If you go to my local government Tsafe, there are many powerful political forces from Yari and even Marafa camps that are abandoned to their fate, and you think this is healthy democratically?

At least certain percentage of appointments need to be sacrificed to Yari camp so that he can be able to step into the heart of his people, but for now, the Governor had to understand that there is no magic Yari can do to bring stability into his political camp than getting his supporters accommodated.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE CHANCES OF THE APC CANDIDATES IN THE FORTH-COMING 2023 ELECTION IN ZAMFARA?

My answer to this question may not be different from my earlier position. Let the APC leaders in Zamfara- the Governor, former Governor Yari and rest put in genuine mechanism of reconciliation and be just and fair to their followers. Anything short of this no one can predict the end result of the APC political journey in 2023.

I am saying this because I know the kind of reaction that is coming from the people, and it is only justice that can help resolve the current state of uncertainty in the APC of Zamfara.

We know there are many candidates that are more popular in their respective constituencies, but the reconciliation had dashed their hope and political chances and these candidates are left without any arrangements.

You know this is a fact that those who had the opportunity to secure the ticket were only considered for some strategic reasons of reconciliation, not because they are better than the rest in terms of their political popularity.

YOU CONTESTED FOR THE POST OF STATE ASSEMBLY BEFORE THE RECONCILIATION EDGED YOU OUT OF THE ARITHEMETICS WERE YOU CONSULTED BY THE PARTY ORTHE CANDIDATE WHO HAPPENED TO BE DEPUTY SPEAKER?

Neither the party nor the candidate reached out to me since after the party primaries and it was the same thing with all the other aspirants that were aged out as a result of the political reconciliation.

What I expected the party to do was to set up a genuine reconciliation mechanisms that will make people like us who invested in the development of the party have a sense of belonging.

The implications of what is happening within the APC Zamfara is that people like us will be made to move aside and be watching things as they unfold, since the party does not consider us as stakeholders that are needed to win election.

But the APC needs to know that stakeholders like us cannot be abandoned to their fates because it can constitute a political redline to to the party.

It has been the same complaint all over but I wish the party can see reason why it shall reach out to us and carry us along as critical stakeholders.

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POWER OUTAGE: ZMSG TO FIX BRAND-NEW ELECTRIC TRANSFORMER IN TSAFE

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Zamfara state Governor had deployed a powerful delegation to inspect the condition of power distribution transformer at Tsafe power station on Monday.

The delegation was headed by the State Commissioner for Health Aliyu Abubakar Tsafe, Special Adviser to Zamfara Governor on Urban and Rural Electrification (DURET), technical staff of the Directorate as well as some powerful politicians in the local government.

The Commissioners who listen to the technical brief by the Directorate officials said the Governor of Zamfara Bello Matawalle was deeply worried when he received the news of the power outage at Tsafe and instantly ordered for on the spot inspection of the power transmission station.

Aliyu Abubakar Tsafe said based on the briefing by the DURET, the transformer which is measured at 2.5 (mba) was too small for the power consumption of Tsafe town, and it’s environ.

He said hence it was suggested that the new transformer to be installed be upgraded to at least 7.5(mba) he will intimate the Governor immediately and get the commitment of the state government in making sure that the problem is addressed out rightly.

He assured that the Governor will do what is right for the people of Tsafe local government by fixing brand-new transformer of high capacity since the existing one is no longer serviceable.

Furthermore, he thanked the people of Tsafe for sustaining their loyalty to the government of Bello Matawalle and assured that the government will do all that are needed to making Tsafe people comfortable.

In a remark, the Special Adviser Directorate of Urban and Rural Electrification (DURET) Alh Muhammad Shinkafi commended the Governor for his prompt response to the plight of Tsafe people and urged them to continue to extend their support to the government.

One of the elder statesmen in the local government Samaila Mudi Tsafe commended the Governor for taking the appropriate step of responding to the complaint of power problem in the Tsafe local government area and urged him to speedily fulfilled the pledge so that citizens of Tsafe can have a sight of relief.

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