The Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has blamed Northern Leaders for the problems in the North, amid acute insecurity, worsening illiteracy, and grinding poverty, .
Governor Matawalle stated this while delivering a paper, titled: ‘The Fight Against Banditry in North-West Nigeria: Challenges and Solutions’, at the inauguration of new Executives of the Arewa Media Writers Association, in Kaduna.
According to him, the lack of support from some Northern Leaders, is responsible for the region’s plights characterised by the kidnapping of Schoolchildren, nursing mothers, and the violent killing of hundreds of other inhabitants.
Represented by the State Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Magaji, Governor Matawalle pointed out that the State was already battling with worsening insecurity, when he assumed power in 2019.
His words: “With poverty on the increase, and food security seriously affected by the crisis, the State was on the verge of a catastrophic social eruption, capable of destabilising our communities and the North-West sub-region.
“Shinkafi and Zurmi LGAs are the hotspots of banditry, even though there are no mining activities going on there.
“Rural banditry in Zamfara and other parts of the North, in my opinion, is a result of the progressive degradation of our moral standards, and a culture of greed fed by an unfettered need for material goods.
“As shown in this presentation, the culture of cattle raiding by pastoralist groups is not something new. It was practised in the days gone by to demonstrate courage and bravery, and no violence was used.”
Blaming Northern elites for the downward spiral of the region, Governor Matawalle noted the “lack of support from a section of Politicians that wish to take advantage of the situation to achieve political ends”.
He warned: “Unless we all wake up to the situation, the war against banditry in the North-West will remain a significant security challenge, that has the potential to swallow the region and the country. The destruction that banditry is wreaking on the region’s people and the economy is unfathomable.”