*Make case for vulnerable women, children
From Lawal Sa’idu Funtua, Katsina
A special town hall meeting on security was held yesterday in Katsina State, with three governors from the North-west geopolitical zone calling on the federal government to make additional funding available to help tackle insecurity in the region.
The meeting was organized by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, and aimed at exchanging ideas on how to address the problem of banditry, kidnapping and rustling.
The governors, including Aminu Masari of Katsina, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto and Bello Mutawalle of Zamfara States, said such funding would help complement what the states are doing to tackle insecurity.
They also called for measures to be put in place that would assist vulnerable women and children affected by insecurity in their respective states.
The governors also enumerated some of the efforts made in their various states to check cases of banditry, and other related crimes, including dialogue with bandits, funding of security agencies, and assistance to communities and those affected by insecurity.
Speaking, the host governor, Masari said federal government needs to consider a special security subvention or grant to states that are affected by insecurity in the region.
Masari said the funds would help boost the dialogue and peace programmes initiated by the governors, as well as other security operations by security agencies.
He said such grant could assist the states to cushion challenges of resettlement and rehabilitation of repentant herdsmen and their families.
“We call on the federal government to consider a special security subvention or grant to the affected Northwest states to adequately fund the Dialogue/Peace programmes and other security operations by security agencies in the states.
“It could as well assist the states to cushion challenges of resettlement and rehabilitation of the repentant herders and their families,” he said.
He said government has expended N200 million for take off of the 17 Battalion Brigade Nigerian Army in the state capital, and establishment of new army battalion in Malumfashi council area.
He said government also releases N80 million monthly to security agencies for logistics and allowances.
He said tracking machine worth N74 million had been purchased for state security, and another N50 million to demarcate cattle routes across the state.
Sokoto state Governor, Tambuwal, on his part, said adequate funding was paramount if government wants to effectively tackle insecurity in the region.
Tambuwal said funding should also be complemented with recruitment of additional security personnel as well as deployment of technology for proper military operations.
“There is need for adequate funding and equipment for military operations, as well as recruitment of personnel to boost numeric strength of security agencies.
“There is also need, on the long term, for jobs creation for teeming youths as unemployment leads to engaging in activities that promote insecurity.”
He said though there was no one solution that fits all in terms of tackling security, he and other state governors of the region were working together to tackle insecurity.
The Zamfara state Governor, Mutawalle, said his state witnessed the worst case of banditry in the Northwest zone.
Mutawalle said though efforts had been made to curtail the challenge, there were however pockets of insecurity being witnessed in parts of his state.
He said addressing insecurity had led to the recovery of 400 assorted weapons from repentant bandits and members of voluntary vigilante group known as Yan Sakai.
He said 200 Hilux pickups at the cost of N3.4 billion had been purchased for security agencies in the state to help tackle insecurity.
He added that first phase settlement for repentant bandits had commenced, with amenities to be included to make life easier for them.