Repentant bandits in Zamfara State have surrendered a total of 216 rifles mostly AK-47 to the authorities. The state government which announced the cheering news yesterday in Gusau, said that the criminals had been terrorising innocent people in the state.
The director-general, Press Affairs to the Governor, Mr. Yusuf Idris, said that Governor Bello Matawalle, disclosed the bandits’ action when he received former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon at the Government House, Gusau on Saturday.
Idris, who issued a statement on the development in Gusau, yesterday, explained that most of the weapons were voluntarily returned to the government by repentant bandits who have embraced peace and denounced their bad habits.
The governor’s aide described the elder statesman’s visit to Zamfara as timely and sought for wise counsel from Gen. Gowon on the best ways to end banditry in the state.
According to Idris, “Matawalle maintained that Nigeria now needs more of his personality with the current situation of banditry, kidnapping and other heinous crimes in order to counsel the current leaders in handling of the terrible situation.”
Matawalle said that tapping from the wealth of Gowon’s experience as a General and former Head of State who fought for the corporate existence of the country would assist his administration positively on security intelligence and intervention.
On his government efforts to end the menace of armed banditry, the governor told Gowon that he has adopted various methods including the reconciliation of the people, which he noted, “are already yielding positive results as over 216 AK-47 rifles have been surrendered to the authorities by surrendering bandits.”
In his response, Gowon said that he was in the state for his “Nigeria Pray” initiative, to pray for an end to the violence in the North West zone and seek for God’s blessings and wisdom for the leaders to offer good governance as well as sustainable unity in the country.
Gen. Gowon who stated that Nigeria is a praying nation enjoined all the citizens of the state to continue to pray for peace and unity of the country and Zamfara.
The meeting was attended by the secretary to the state government (SSG), Bala Maru, the chief of staff, Government House, Col. Bala Mande, Senator Lawal Hassan Dan-Iya, Speaker of the Zamfara State House of Assembly, Hon. Nasiru Magarya, among others.