Banditry in Northwest, a threat to the country, says Matawalle

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Zamfara state governor, Bello Matawalle has said the security situation in the North west is a threat to the country.
He said unless northerners wake up to the situation, the war against banditry in the north west will remain a significant security challenge with a potential to threat to the region and the country.
Speaking at the inauguration of officials of Arewa Writers Association in Kaduna, the governor said the ruling elite in the north “have no vision for the region beyond gaining political power.”
According to him the north lacks responsible leadership to steer it through its trouble waters.
“It is evident, therefore, that we, the leaders, are responsible for the plight of the north.
“The north lacks responsible leadership to steer it through our time’s uncharted waters”, the governor said.
Matawalle who was represented by the Zamfara state commissioner for information, Ibrahim Magaji, said “Our ruling elite have no vision for the region beyond gaining political power.
“We have all seen how the elites in the south-east and southwest responded 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.”
Matawalle said, his experience in the past two years has shown that the major challenges to peace efforts are: “Reluctance by the affected states to embrace peace dialogue, which would have deprived the recalcitrant bandits currently tormenting our people of safe corridors in the region;
“Lack of support from a section of politicians that wish to take advantage of the situation to achieve political ends and;
“The need for the federal government to key into the peace initiative so that appropriate resources can be allocated to make”.
The governor maintained that unless northerners 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.”
He said: “The destruction that banditry is wrecking on the region’s people and economy is unfathomable.
“This is a strident appeal to leaders of the region 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.
He said the north is plagued by “horrible crimes unimaginable, which include rape, killings of women and children, kidnapping, highway robbery and other gruesome atrocities”.
According to him, rural banditry in Zamfara and other parts of the north, is a result of the progressive degradation of moral standards and a culture of greed fuel by the quest for material things.

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