The Zamfara State Council of Chiefs has called on the Minister of Defense, Mansur Dan Ali, to as a matter of responsibility and urgency, name the traditional rulers colluding with armed bandits in the state.
The emirs, while describing the allegations against them as reprehensible, said failure to name those involved would make the minister’s statement false and an attempt to tarnish the image of the traditional rulers.
The statement was contained in a communique signed by the Emir of Anka and chairman of the state’s council of chiefs Alhaji Attahiru Muhammad Ahmad and read by the Emir of Bungudu Alhaji Hassan Attahiru shortly after an emergency meeting in Gusau.
Recall that the Minister of Defense, who is a retired Brigadier General, also hails from Birnin Magaji in Zamfara State.
They also described the allegations as an attempt to make them scapegoats for the inability of the military and other security forces to end the scourge of insecurity in the state.
“Over the past years, traditional rulers have cooperated with the state government and security agencies by providing information about location, routes and names of persons involved in armed banditry and cattle rustling. But the military and other security agencies have failed to be on top of the situation,” they said.
However, the emirs appreciated the presidential marching order given to the security agencies to immediately bring an end to the situation once and for all.
The emirs also noted that the airstrikes conducted by the military in the state did not hit the main camps of the bandits, adding that many innocent villagers have been killed in the ‘misdirected airstrikes.’
“Reports from Mutu in Gusau and Tsafe local government areas, Tangaram in Anka local government and Dumburum in Zurmi local area, among others, are that the areas shelled were not the actual hideouts of the bandits and the victims were innocent civilians,” the emirs said.
“We call on the federal government to come to the aid of the state, especially the people in our rural communities who are in very dire need of life supporting material.”
Thousands have left their homes, and farming and all economic activities have been put to standstill in most rural areas,” the emirs added.”