Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle of Zamfara State, northwestern Nigeria, says poverty is responsible for insecurity in his state as many terrorists take arms for a living.
Zamfara is one of the states in Nigeria’s Northwest region with 91 per cent of residents living below the poverty line in 2019, according to former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
In a discussion with BBC Hausa Service, the governor said that extreme poverty affecting the people of the state was among the triggers of violence in communities.
The governor said security operatives were doing their best but “it is difficult to stop someone who has taken it as a new occupation.”
Some of the people who attended the BBC’s “A Fada A Cika”, a programme that ensures accountability in government at state levels, said insecurity is the main problem of the state at the moment.
They said that attacks, kidnappings and other forms of criminal activities were still carried out by terrorists in many villages of the state.
“There is no peace from Rukudawa, Sanu, Madobiya to Tungar-Buzu and all parts of the area. We are currently running for our lives and migrating to Birnin-Magaji and Birnin-Tsaba,” one said.
Another participant said that “there was reconciliation between the terrorists and the government, but we have seen no development.
“If the governor doesn’t know he should know now. There is a problem with that reconciliation.”