President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major-General Babagana Monguno (rtd), to give “special focus” to the rising cases of banditry in Zamfara State.
Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said the directive followed reports of incessant attacks on communities in the state.
According to Shehu, Buhari “ordered that there must be a clear pathway to ending the resurgent banditry that has continued to cost lives and the displacement of thousands of families from their towns and villages.”
The presidential aide recalled that the Speaker of the Zamfara House of Assembly, Nasir Magarya, had recently written to the President to lament worsening insecurity in the state.
He said some heads of security agencies and ministries would soon be meeting to deliberate on insecurity and the challenge of illegal mining in Zamfara.
Shehu noted that the Minister of Interior, Ra’uf Aregbesola, his Defence counterpart, Olamilekan Adegbite, and the Ministers of Defence, Major-General Bashir Magashi (Rtd), will all be attending the meeting.
Also expected at the meeting are the Directors-General of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
Shehu added that, “Beyond the problems of bandits and cattle rustlers, the scale of lawlessness has been aggravated by illegal miners who are harvesting resources they have no legal rights to exploit.
“Official statistics suggest that there are more than 20,000 such miners undermining this important part of the economy, operating in a manner that is extraordinarily harmful and destructive. The result is chaos.
“This meeting is expected to address these and associated issues of corruption, government oversight and lawlessness.”