Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has said he has declared total war with any person or group found either sponsoring, aiding, abetting or guiding bandits in the state.
The governor made the declaration on Thursday when he received the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Saddique Baba Abubakar who was on an official visit at the Government House, Gusau.
A statement issued by the Director General, Media and Communication, Yusuf Idris Gusau, said Matawalle who was visibly angry expressed his worries over the actions of some mischief-makers in the state who have formed the habit of transmitting false information and making heroes out of the criminal elements.
He assured that his administration will no longer treat such blood-thirsty individuals with kid gloves, warning them to either stop or await the consequences that will follow their evil acts.
According to him, the state government in collaboration with security agents have effectively been using kinetic and non-kinetic approach in addressing security issues but that with the realization of the increasing criminal intents of those aiding the bandits, the government is left with no other option than to appropriately hit hard at such persons in order to put a complete stop on their activities
He revealed that with the provision of CH-4 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) by the Federal Government, the state government will employ more and new tactical approach in the fight against the bandits expressing confidence that the new measure will bring a lasting solution to the menace of armed banditry in the northwestern states.
Governor Matawalle said a mechanism has been put in place to monitor the activities of all suspected criminally-minded people in the state and will not hesitate to take drastic action against them.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the establishment of the UAV in the state, noting that the singular gesture will go a long way in facilitating the activities of the security operatives involved in the fight against armed banditry in Zamfara and its neighbouring states.
Matawalle who described the president as a man with a good heart who always shows concern over the security situation in the state urged the visiting Chief of Air Staff to extend the appreciation of the government and people of Zamfara State over the good efforts of the president to the state.
He assured state government’s logistical and other support to all officers and men involved in the fight against terrorism in the state.
Earlier, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Saddique Baba Abubakar informed the governor that he was in the state to assess facilities at the 207 Quick Response Unit of the Nigeria Air Force, Gusau with a view to commence the deployment of additional air assets to Gusau as directed by President Buhari.
He said four UAV will very soon be moved to the state in order to closely monitor all activities of bandits as well as to precisely identify their camps and other hideouts
The Air Force boss informed the governor that this was the first time in the history of the Nigerian Air Force to acquire such high technology CH-4 unmanned aerial vehicle.
He explained that a total of eight UAVs were deployed to the northern states with two each at Gombe and Borno States while the remaining four which will be stationed in Zamfara will cover states in the north-west.
He said the Air Force will soon construct the runway of the UAV in the state for deployment and additional air operational staff.
During the event, Governor Matawalle presented 13 rescued kidnap victims comprising five males, five females and three infants to the Chief of Air Staff.
The governor also used the occasion to dispel rumours that the kidnapped persons who hailed from Mutunji village of Maru local government were 53 when they were actually 13.
Those in attendance at the courtesy call were the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Bala Bello Maru; the Head of Service, Alhaji Kabir Balarabe; Deputy Chief of Staff, Dr Bashir Mohammed Maru, members of the State Executive Council and royal fathers among others.
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