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FG, governors move against banditry, kidnapping, rustling, others in North West


Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola (left); his Information and Culture counterpart, Lai Mohammed; Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari; his Zamfara and Sokoto colleagues, Bello Matawalle; Aminu Tambuwal; and Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), at a town hall meeting on security in Katsina…yesterday.

The Federal Government and governors in the North West have brainstormed on the insecurity ravaging the geo-political zone.During a town hall meeting organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture yesterday in Katsina, the minister, Lai Mohammed, said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration does not play politics with the security and welfare of the citizens.

On the occasion where banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping and other security challenges besetting the region were highlighted, the minister noted: “Today’s (yesterday) town hall meeting is very unique. Since we started in 2016, this is the first time that we are having governors from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as panelists.

‘’This is first, a testimony to the fact that this Federal Government does not play politics with the security and welfare of citizens and second, a reflection of the patriotism, commitment and nationalism of the governors irrespective of their party affiliations.” He lamented that the feats recorded so far regarding containment of insecurity in the North West had gotten the desired publicity.

“Unfortunately, the progress that has been made in combating banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping has not made the kind of headlines that the security challenges were making at their peak. It has, therefore, become imperative for the Federal Government, working with the affected states, to provide a platform for the governors of the frontline states to highlight the successes they have achieved in their various states in tackling these cases of insecurity as well as for relevant Federal Government ministers to highlight the efforts that have helped to drastically reduce the level of insecurity in the North West,” Mohammed stated.

In his remarks, the Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Magashi (rtd) said three of the nine special military operations in the country were concentrated in the zone to effectively tackle its security challenges.On his part, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said 6,000 personnel of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were in the region to tackle farmers-herders clashes.

The governors, however, appealed to the central government to make additional funds available to tackle the insecurity in the area.The state chief executives, including Governors Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina, Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) and Bello Mutawalle of Zamfara, said the extra funding would complement their efforts in tackling the challenges at hand.

They also called for measures to be put in place to assist vulnerable women and children.The host, Masari, said the Federal Government needed to consider special subventions for affected states, stating that the funds would boost their dialogue and peace programmes as well as enhance the work of security agencies.To Tambuwal, funding was key to the effective tackling of the crisis.Also speaking, Mutawalle noted that his administration had done much to contain criminality in Zamfara.


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