Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle of Zamfara State has promised never to leave the people at the mercy of armed criminals unleashing terror on communities.
The governor spoke against the background of a report by HumAngle in which the people accused the government of favouring negotiating with the terrorists than attend to their grievances.
The governor in a statement signed by his spokesman, Zailani Bappa, stressed the importance of dialogue as a critical tool in ending the violence in the state but stressed that the military would deal with groups who failed to respect the state government’s peace efforts.
The state government said it was uncharitable to accuse the administration of abandoning the people in favour of the peace accord which was initially conceived for the sake of the people.
The statement read: “Some individuals and groups have over the last few days, expressed their concerns over Governor Bello Mohammed’s peace process with bandits in the state, some of them alleging neglect in favour of the repentant bandits.
“They cited some recent banditry attacks on certain communities where they alleged non-action on the part of the security agencies in favour of the peace road map.”
HumAngle earlier reported villagers in the state decrying government’s alleged preference to deal with terrorists to attending to the grievance of the people.
Some residents had told HumAngle that since the commencement of the peace process by the current state administration whatever the armed gangs said to the government was taken seriously, while the people’s concerns were ignored.
“This allegation, which seems to be getting momentum, is completely unfounded and contrary to the truth in the fight against banditry in the state.
Indeed, Governor Bello Mohammed still believes that dialogue is the best approach to solving the lingering security problems in the state and, indeed, the entire North West bedevilled with years of banditry attacks but not at the detriment of the people,” said the statement.
It stressed the state government’s strategy of carrot and stick approach to the peace process and said: “Those who refuse to accept the peace process and those who renege on it are squarely being faced with the wrath of the state’s operation Hadarin Daji.”
Sources in Government House, Gusau revealed that the government had facilitated the deployment of more security personnel to respond to the call of Bindin community in Maru Local Government Area to halt the threats of armed groups to the people.