Security of lives and property in Zamfara State has remained the topmost priority of Governor Bello Mohammed (Matawallen Maradun). Today, we are not the ones saying this. The security agencies and operatives are the ones saying it. Indeed, they are the people involved. This commendation is as the result of the fallout of efforts put in place and the consistent attention accorded this objective by the Matawalle administration over time. The question on many lips in the last few days is why the resurgence of banditry in pockets of communities in the state, with the recent one claiming multiple of innocent lives?
First of all, Governor Bello Mohammed, once again, commiserate with those who lost their dear ones in the recent dastardly attacks and pray for the repose of the souls of the deceased. A life lost is like a whole mankind lost. A life saved is like a whole mankind saved. That is why the commitment to save lives deserves any material cost and any cause to loss of life deserves every available punishment by the causative agent.
For onward of one decade, the various communities of Zamfara state have contended with acute unrest and apprehension leading to loss of thousands of lives and billions of naira in property due to the menace of banditry. Save for the first one year of Governor Bello Mohammed Administration when the acute and tense situation eased and there was semblance of calm and normal life returning to the people. However, in the recent days and weeks, tension is building up in pockets of our communities, such as in Kauran Namoda, Maru and Talata-Mafara Local Government areas where many lives were lost to blood sucking bandits who sneaked in and paid the communities satanic visits overnight.
It is indeed, to say the least, worrisome to any responsible leader when after hard work to attain peace, a negative tide begins to blow against the peace constructed and unfortunately, getting momentum in spite of sheer determined resistance to its unwelcome debut. What is more worrisome is how some godforsaken citizens love to fuel the situation to spite the present administration on one hand and portray it to the general public as a failure. To these godforsaken bunch, if Matawalle is seen to have failed, anything is worth it, including sacrificing human lives!
However, Matawalle is not a man to be brought down on his knees easily. His known characteristic determination to achieve what he wants is all well known. And that is partly what is keeping him above them. He has approached the new menace with constructive challenge which the security operatives themselves are commending. As the Chief Security officer of the state, he could not afford to fail in his all-important responsibility of saving lives and property.
Last week is special in respect of unfolding developments in the state. The efforts of Governor Bello Mohammed has yielded another positive step where President Muhammadu Buhari yielded to some of his passionate demands. One of them is the siting of a drone runway which will commence in a few days’ time. The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadiq Abubakar was in Gusau to inspect the site for the project. Governor Matawalle seized the opportunity to warn perpetrators of mayhem that the Government is ready for them. He promised them the worst of their nightmare if they continue to challenge the peace of Zamfara people.
In the same week of this historic visit, Matawalle held a closed door meeting with all the stakeholders on Security which included the Heads of Security operatives in the state, the whole of traditional rulers in the state and the Ulama which is the religious leaders in the state.
As a fallout of that crucial meeting, Governor Matawalle ordered all traditional rulers and Local Government Chairmen to stay put in their domain and never to spend a night away from their people unless on crucial assignments.
“Hence forth, I forbid any traditional ruler and local government chairman to stay away the night from his people unless on special circumstances. We will monitor this and the peace situation in all your domains for the next one month”, Governor Matawalle told them.
However, with all the efforts of Governor Bello Matawalle in the drive towards total peace in the state, a lot of bitter enemies of the peace are working round the clock to discredit his good intentions and wonderful steps leading to many escapades in this regard.
Just recently, his peace initiative with all stakeholders which led to the release of over 40 innocent lives from captivity without ransom was challenged; specifically the release of 26 girls from Katsina State who were rescued and sent to Governor Bello Masari for onward transition to their families which became the subject of bad blood.
Indeed, all well-meaning parents whose children were abducted and released into the hands of anyone, even your enemy, will show appreciation and offer thanks for a job well done, especially when the children are delivered safe and unhurt.
However, supposed parents of the released girls danced to the music played by bitter and Haters of peace to put a lie to Governor Bello Mohammed’s claim that the girls were released to him from their captives as part of the initiative of peace run in the state.
Whatever the case may be, Governor Bello Mohammed has never deceived anyone in his one and half year of peace making in this region. If he were a deceit, his efforts would have compounded the security situation in the state as it did to those who led the state before him. Matawalle administration will not succumb to the spoil of deliberate throwers of spanners in the works.
God is the ultimate judge of the affairs of men. God has been on the side of truth. He has been on Matawalle’s side which translated to the relative peace experienced all this while, in spite of the active machinations of those opposed to peace and those who take pleasure in continuous flow of human blood.
Bappa is Special Special Adviser, Public Enlightenment, Media and Communications to the Zamfara State Governor.
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