1. Zamfara Circle Community Initiative followed with dismay, the unfortunate war of words between Zamfara state Government (ZMSG) and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) over an alleged "secret" negotiations with bandit terrorists initiated by the agents of the latter without consent of the former.

2. This exchange of words between the two tiers of government that ought to rub shoulders to bring an end to over a decade of bloodshed, kidnapping and cattle rustling in Zamfara state is unwarranted, unbecoming, irresponsible, heartless and remains unreservedly condemned by the Circle. Security of lives and property of the people should not be politicized by any responsible government or individuals.

3. Ideally, State Governments and the FGN should see themselves as partners—not rivals—that must keep political differences aside, work together as a system to ensure security of lives and properties which is the primary responsibility of the government. The Circle wishes to urge ZMSG and the FGN to henceforth desist from this embarrassing public exchange of words, take responsibility, find a way to resolve issues and establish an effective collaboration to end banditry for our collective good and survival.

The Circle’s call to ZMSG:

1. The Circle wishes to call on His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Zamfara state, Dauda Lawal to sit-up, suspend all unnecessary travels and face the reality at hand. Looking at the situation in Zamfara today, the Circle believes that HE Dauda doesn’t have the luxury of time or travel as the state is being taken over by bandits.

2. The Circle reiterates its earlier call on Governor Dauda Lawal to, as a matter of urgency, restore governance at local government levels and make strategic plans that will speed up development in Zamfara’s remote rural communities.

3. The Circle urges His Excellency to assemble a competent security strategy team to design a work plan that will produce a workable, realistic and sustainable framework that will bring a lasting solution to the state’s security predicaments. The team will map-out and engage with all stakeholders to make it all inclusive, community-driven and participatory. This will make the project acceptable by all stakeholders and ensure its full and hitch-free implementation.

4. It is on record that the state has not had any sustainable development since its creation in 1996 due to lack of State Development Plan (SDP). The Circle therefore, calls on Governor Dauda Lawal to assemble another competent team of strategic development experts to develop a minimum of 5-year SDP so that the security strategic plan will align with other socioeconomic components of the SDP that will provide a clear pathway for rapid development and measurable progress across all the priority sectors in the state.

5. The Circle commends the resolution of the State Executive Council to recruit Civilian Joint Taskforce (CJTF) across all the LGAs of the state. The Circle believes this move will complement the efforts of security personnel fighting the bandit-terrorists.

The Circle also believes that a thorough screening exercise will be put in place to ensure only the right people are recruited.

The Circle’s call to FGN and NW Governors

1. At this juncture, the Circle wishes to appeal to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR to deploy the immediate past Governor of Zamfara state Hon. Bello Matawalle from the Ministry of Defense as a State Minister to another Federal Ministry for the interest of peace and to block any loophole that may lead to politicization of the security in Zamfara— a state which was unfortunately adjudged to be the epicenter of banditry in Nigeria.

2. Addressing banditry in Zamfara state is critical and a sine qua non towards addressing this menace in the troubled Northwest region and by extension, the whole country. The Circle therefore calls on the Northwest Governors to emulate their Northeast counterparts by working in synergy to restore peace and development to the region.

3. The Circle commends the efforts of security agencies for rescuing some of the kidnapped victims of Federal University Gusau abducted last week and calls on to not relent until all the kidnapped victims are rescued.

4. Due to the loss of property and other means of livelihood in the Northwest, the Circle calls on the president to establish a Northwest Development Commission to help in providing critical infrastructure and the much needed development in the region.

The Circle believes that these measures, when taken, will greatly improve security in Zamfara and, by extension, the Northwest region.

Thank you.

Zamfara Circle Community Initiative

Aminu M. Lawal, PhD.
Chairman, Zamfara Circle.

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