By Ochiaka Ugwu
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Chairman of Prosecution of Armed Banditry Related Offences in Zamfara State, Sani Shinkafi has accused Zamfara State Governor, Dauda Lawal of frustrating efforts of the Federal Government and security agencies to restore security and peace in the state by his unguarded outburst that the Federal Government was negotiating with bandits to restore order.
In a statement he issued through the auspices of Patriots for the Advancement of Peace and Social Development (PAPS), Shinkafi, who was National Secretary of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), also urged the federal government to ignore Governor Lawal’s allegation of secret talks with bandits, saying the Governor was fully represented in the negotiation by his Commissioner.
He said: “His Commissioner for Supervision of Government Policies and Budget Implementation Unit, Nasiru Ibrahim Zurmi Represented him in peace talk”, the statement said.
Pointing out that a Commissioner appointed by the Governor, Shinkafi said it is outrageous that the Governor of Zamfara State will seek cheap publicity by playing politics with the lives of the people at a time the state is under siege by armed bandits.
“The misguided, mischievous and irresponsible statement by Governor Lawal is the height of executive rascality and recklessness that have fueled and worsened insecurity in Zamfara State since he assumed office.
“The responsibility of any government is to serve the people, provide security and deliver dividends of democracy, not carnage, terrorism, insurgency, militancy, banditry and kidnapping for ransom as obtainable in Zamfara State today.
“It is unfortunate that the governor who ought to be the chief security officer of the state and work in synergy with the nation’s security agencies and stakeholders in the state to restore security and order will be the one to frustrate attempts to bring peace to Zamfara State by making a mockery of various efforts by the nation’s military personnel in collaboration with respected leaders to make Zamfara State safe again.”
“It is this needed peace move by the Federal Government, security agents, stakeholders and Government of Zamfara State that Lawal has been rubbishing in the media as if he has something to gain from the sufferings and instability in the state, an indication that he did not have the interest of the people at heart.
“Military operations are the exclusive reserve of the Federal Government and security agents as provided in the 1999 Constitution as amended. It is the sole duty of the Federal Government to deploy the armed forces to fight terrorism, banditry, insurgency, militancy and any form of criminal activities in the country and adopt effective means of restoring security and peace. What is important is that peace, security and safety of citizens is achieved and guaranteed in accordance with section 14 (2)b of the 1999 Constitution as amended which states that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.
“In tackling the militancy in the Niger Delta, the Olusegun Obasanjo administration adopted military operation but the Umar Musa Yaradua government granted the militants amnesty and urged them to surrender their arms. Thus, the war against militancy in the Niger Delta was won by non-kenetic approach of amnesty in place of kenetic approach of military operation.”