President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered for an immediate response to rising cases of bandit attacks on communities in Zamfara State.
Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, said the president gave the directive to the National Security Adviser, retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, on Thursday in Abuja.
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 State House of Assembly, Nasir Magarya, wrote a letter in which he appealed to President Buhari to intervene and stop the incessant killings by bandits in the State.
Shehu announced that the Office of the National Security Adviser to the President would soon summon a meeting that would deliberate on security and the issue of illegal mining which is fueling the crisis in Zamfara.
”In addition to NSA the convener, the meeting will be attended by retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi, Ra’uf Aregbesola and Architect Olamilekan Adegbite, Ministers of Defence, Interior, and Mines and Steel respectively.
”Also to attend the meeting are the Directors-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).”
Shehu noted that beyond the problems of bandits and cattle rustlers, the scale of lawlessness had been aggravated by illegal miners who were harvesting resources they had no legal rights to exploit.
According to him, 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, saying the result is chaos.
”This meeting is expected to address these and associated issues of corruption, government oversight and lawlessness, ” he added. (NAN)