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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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RECONCILIATION: ZAMFARA FMR. FED. LAWMAKER MEETS COUNCIL CHAIR, APC STAKEHOLDERS

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A Zamfara federal house of representatives aspirant Abdulmalik Bungudu Zannan Bungudu has attended an interface with the Bungudu local government council chairman and other APC stakeholders aimed at strategizing ways to strengthen the ongoing reconciliation.

The meeting which was summoned by the Council Chairman Muhammad Maitutare emphasized on the need for the APC supporters from both side of the divide in Zamfara to accept the reconciliation in the spirit of unity and progress.

He said accepting the consensus candidate anointed by the Governor is the only answer to showing solidarity to the decision of the Governor.

The aspirant who was a former federal lawmaker Abdulmakik Zubairu thanked the council chairman and all the stakeholders for the support and assured them his commitment to ensuring that the party succeeded.

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GAMJIN GUSAU DR. DAUDA LAWAL, RINGING THE BELL OF THE OPPOSITION IN ZAMFARA POLITICS.

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It was a moment of jubilation for the supporters of Dr. Dauda Lawal Gamjin Gusau one of the aspirants eying for the seat of the Governor of Zamfara state under the umbrella of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

He has conducted one of the best state of the earth rally with thousands of supporters across the divides driving with happiness to welcome him at Yankara, Zamfara state border town with Katsina.

His arrival to Zamfara on Sunday marked the beginning of a new dawn for the opposition People’s Democratic Party in Zamfara state, as the journey of 45-50 minutes took him over eight hours to finish.


He was stopped by thousands of supporters at the entry of every village and town along Zaria-Gusau highway to wish him well and prayed for God almighty to bless his gubernatorial candidature.

Dr. Dauda Lawal Dare who was looking visibly emotional and delighted with the mammoth crowd that came on the streets to welcome him said he is optimistic and confident that his gubernatorial candidature will surely triumph in 2023.


He expressed hope that the journey from 2023 will raise the hope of Zamfara people since his inspiration is to transform Zamfara state in the area of infrastructures, education, quality health care system, job creation, widening opportunities in small and medium enterprises as well as sustainable reforms beyond his period as Governor.

A young, agile Ibrahim Garba who trekked from Yankara to Gusau said he has high hope for the gubernatorial candidature of Dauda Lawal considering his track record while in the banking sector and his admiration to transforming humanity.


He said whenever he listened to perspective from Dauda Lawal he renewed his hope for the new Zamfara state because of his careful understanding of the governance crises rocking the state and his vision of how he want to create new opportunities for Zamfara state.

Another young woman Fatima who stood for hours at Gusau Hotel round about to welcome Dr. Dauda said many people she interacted with have raised new hope in the aspiration of Dauda Lawal which is ringing bell. She said the quality in everything done by Dr, Dauda will surely manifest in his administration if elected.

Another Youth Corp member Chineze Thomas said, he has heard about the competency of Dr. Dauda Lawal from many people who worked with him in the banking sector and the conclusion about him was that “he is the best for the Zamfara gubernatorial projects and prayed for God almighty to see him through the routes of success in 2023.

As for his chances in the PDP, Alh Tanuimu Garba a secondary school teacher in Tsafe said, with people like Dr. Dauda Lawal in the party, PDP has become a new hope for Zamfara people.

 

 

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TWELVE APC FED. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE ASPIRANTS GEAR UP FOR PARTY PRIMARIES IN ZAMFARA

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Twelve Zamfara aspirants contesting for the post of federal house of representative are gearing up for the APC primaries scheduled for Thursday the 26th of May 2021

Those who are likely to secure the ticket unopposed are Ahmad Usman Gummi for Gummi/Bukkuyum, Umar Sarkin Fada Zurmi/Shinkafi, Muhammad Ahmed Sani Bakura/Maradun and Isah Muhammad Anka for Anka and Bukkuyum Federal Constituency.

As for Maru/Bungudu, five aspirants are to contest the ticket on Thursday and they include Dr. Bashir Muhammad Maru, Abdulmalik Zubairu Zannan Bungudu, Sufiyanu Usman, Abdulrahaman Tumbido and Aliyu Sulaiman Dansadau.

As for Gusau and Tsafe federal constituency, Sanusi Garba Rikiji and Fatima Mu’azu are to contest the ticket at the level of party primaries.

All aspirants, especially those for Maru and Bungudu are gearing up and meeting with the delegates to canvass for votes ahead of the date scheduled for the party primaries.

None of the aspirants who contesting at the level of primaries from Gusau/Tsafe and Maru/Bungudu constituencies has so far step down from the race.

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