The Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has warned that the escalating insecurity and banditry in the North-West can ‘swallow” the entire country if necessary measures are not taken to curb the menace.
Matawalle who spoke in Kaduna on Sunday, while presenting a lead paper entitled “The Fight Against Banditry in Northwest Nigeria: Challenges and Solutions” during the inauguration of the new executives of Arewa Media Writers’ Association, lamented that the North lacks “responsible leadership to steer it through troubled waters the region finds itself”, because the ruling elite have no vision for the region beyond gaining political power.
The Governor who was represented by his Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Ibrahim Magaji Dosara, described the lack of support from a section of political elite interested in taking advantage of the crises to score political points and reluctance by affected ”states” to embrace peace dialogue as bottlenecks to ending banditry and other related crimes in the region.
“Unless we wake up to the situation, the war against banditry in the North-West will remain a significant security challenge that has the potential to swallow the region and the country. The destruction that banditry is wreaking on the region’s people and the economy is unfathomable.
“The North lacks responsible leadership to steer it through our time’s uncharted waters. Our ruling elite have no vision for the region beyond gaining political power.
“We have all seen how the elite in the Southeast and Southwest respond in unison to all matters concerning their regions’ development.
“We have seen how they have a defined agenda and are relentless in their pursuit of regional development.
“I call on Northern leaders to wake up from their lethargy and unite in combating this grave challenge. We need to get to the roots of the situation, stop politicising it and act decisively,” Matawalle said.
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