Governor Dauda Lawal Laments Lack of Political Will to Eliminate Banditry in Zamfara State

Gusau, Zamfara State – Governor Dauda Lawal has expressed frustration over the persistent banditry in Zamfara State, attributing the issue to the lack of political will and the unresponsive attitude of Federal Government-controlled security agencies. During an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme, Governor Lawal highlighted the inefficiency of the police and military in addressing the kidnapping-for-ransom crisis and emphasized the potential for rapid improvement with the right political commitment.

Key Points from Governor Lawal’s Remarks:

  1. Lack of Control Over Security Agencies:
    • Governors lack authority over military, police, and civil defense forces, which often leads to frustration and helplessness.
    • Security personnel are frequently unavailable or constrained by restrictive instructions, impeding effective action against bandits.
  2. Potential for Rapid Resolution:
    • With proper political will, the banditry issue could be resolved within two weeks.
    • The governor stressed the need for decisive action, as the identities and locations of the bandits are known.
  3. Creation of State Security Outfit:
    • Due to the Federal Government’s inadequate response, Zamfara State established the Community Protection Guards in January to enhance local security efforts.
    • Governor Lawal criticized past negotiations with bandits, noting their ineffectiveness and the enrichment of criminal groups.
  4. Concerns About Sabotage:
    • Unspecified individuals are negotiating with bandits without the governor’s knowledge, undermining state efforts to combat the crisis.
    • Governor Lawal reported these concerns to President Bola Tinubu, who promised to address the issues.
  5. Hub of Banditry:
    • Zamfara State is considered the epicenter of banditry in Nigeria. Solving the problem in Zamfara would significantly impact the broader northern region’s security.
  6. Challenges Faced by State Security Outfits:
    • State security forces are limited by their inability to bear assault rifles and superior weapons, making it difficult to effectively confront well-armed bandits.
    • Governors are hopeful that with constitutional backing, these outfits will be able to perform more effectively.

Implications and Actions:

Governor Lawal’s statements underscore the urgent need for coordinated political and security efforts to address the banditry crisis in Zamfara State. The governor’s critique of the Federal Government’s approach and his call for political will highlight the complexities and frustrations faced by state leaders in combating entrenched criminal activities. The establishment of state security outfits like the Community Protection Guards signifies a move towards localized solutions, but their effectiveness remains limited without proper support and legal authority to bear necessary arms.

Governor Lawal’s engagement with President Tinubu and the call for constitutional backing for state security outfits point towards potential future policy changes aimed at enhancing the capacity of local forces to manage security challenges independently. The governor’s candid revelations about internal sabotage and ineffective past negotiations suggest a need for transparency and strategic coordination among all stakeholders to achieve lasting security in Zamfara and beyond.

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