By: Abubakar Abba, Kaduna
Zamfara State Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle says degradation of moral standards and culture of greed are bane of armed banditry in the northern region.
Matawalle dropped this hint penultimate week in Kaduna at a lecture titled, ‘The Fight Against Banditry in Northwest Nigeria as a guest speaker at the inauguration of the new executives of Arewa Media Writers’ Association, spoke throw his commissioner-designate, Alhaji Ibrahim Magaji Dosara.
He added that degradation of moral standards and a culture of greed fed by an unfettered need for material wealth exhibited by leaders to the detriment of the masses, pointing that pastoral raidings which had been in existence from time immemorial was only a show of bravery carried out without the use of violence as against the present day criminality that includes rape, killing of women and children, kidnapping, highway robbery and gruesome atrocities.
Matawalle said that literature written on the security challenges in Zamfara have tried, without clear cut success, to link the armed bandits’ activities with the presence of vast mineral resources and the attendant activities of artisanal and illegal miners supported by the rich, both locally and internationally.
His words “Northern leaders should be ready to take responsibility for the current situation for failing to provide good leadership that would chart a progressive course for the region.”
He lamented that leaders are busy gaining political power and selfish wealth unlike what is obtainable in developed countries where they rise in unison on all matters concerning the development of their country or region.
According to Gov. Matawalle, he took drastic efforts to reduce the criminal activities with over 2,000 kidnap victims regaining their freedom and the resumption of full business activities through the reopening of all markets hitherto shut by the past administration.
“The establishment of three RUGA settlements with the pilot scheme now almost completed on a 20,000-hectare land at Ranji, Salkida of Maradun local government, is another step in addressing insecurity in the state, pointing out that it is provided with all basic amenities of modern settlements such as clinics, schools, markets, diaries, ranches, dams, grazing areas, access roads, irrigation sites, electricity, shelterbelts, sporting and social activities among others.”
Matawalle then decried the reluctance by other banditry affected states to replicate his measures, lack of support by other politicians because of political affiliation and the need for the federal government to fully key into the peace initiative as the bane of the current efforts in the state.