All Progressives Congress (APC) leader and former Lagos State governor Bola Tinubu said on Thursday that N50 million would be donated to Zamfara communities that had been recently ravaged by bandits.
Soon after expressing his condolences to Governor Bello Matawalle in Gusau, Zamfara, Mr. Tinubu announced the donation.
The leader of the APC national party urged the people of the state to continue to pray for peace.
“I could offer prayers for the people from anywhere, but coming in person is important.
“The enemies of knowledge, Boko Haram and other criminal elements will be defeated through commitment in humanity.
“We pray for the entire country to be stable and if the enemies refuse to stop the carnage, we shall eliminate them.
“We believe in President Muhammadu Buhari’s ability to restore law and order and bring back our country to stability and tracks of development,” Mr Tinubu said.
There were former Borno governor Kashim Shettima, Nuhu Ribadu and Pius Akinyelure accompanying him on the trip to Gusau to meet with the former EFCC Chairman Nuhu Ribadu.
Matawalle welcomed the APC leader and expressed his hope that the bereaved communities and the entire people of the state would be comforted by his presence.
“It is my pleasure to welcome His Excellency, Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Jagaban Borgu, who has spared time out of his tight commitments to visit the state to commiserate with our people over the recent tragic incident of banditry attacks in some communities of Anka and Bukkuyum Local Government Areas,” Mr Matawalle said.
His assessment of Mr. Tinubu as a modern-day Nigerian politician, a determined leader and an accomplished bridge-builder was widely accepted.
Similarly, he mentioned him as someone who had spent the previous 23 years of the nation’s democracy cultivating togetherness, developing, and raising persons who had equally distinguished themselves in diverse fields of human endeavor in contemporary Nigeria.
Banditry has been a problem in the state for more than a decade, according to the governor.
“When I assumed office in 2019, I made it my utmost priority to address this issue as no meaningful development could be accomplished in an atmosphere of insecurity.
“Considering the reality that the conflict is tied to ethnic fault lines, I initiated a dialogue and reconciliation programme, which leaders of thought overwhelmingly accepted all over the state.
“As a result of our programme of dialogue and reconciliation, hostilities ceased for a period of over nine months.
“Hundreds of kidnapped persons were unconditionally released by their captors,” Mr Matawalle said.
That glorious era of brotherly love and mutual coexistence between Zamfara communities returned as the disarmament process progressed, he said.
For the first time in a decade, Gusau hosted the annual Fulani festival of ‘Sharu,’ he says.
He, however, expressed sadness that the achievement became bad news for some “self-serving politicians in the state.
“They, therefore, perfected plans to sabotage the peace process. In some cases, security reports fingered them as having direct involvement in the planning and execution of kidnapping, ostensibly to embarrass the government.
“For instance, based on the figures confirmed by the affected community leaders when I visited the communities after the recent attacks, a total of 58 people lost their lives in contrast to the outrageous figures being published in the media,” he stated.
Additional to the talks, Mr Matawalle’s government has invested tremendous sums in the logistics and allowances for security personnel sent to the state.
For the state’s security forces, he claimed that his government purchased and distributed 200 brand-new Hilux pickups just in 2019.
The Governor promised that his administration would continue to do all it could to put an end to the banditry problem in the state.
“As we get closer to 2023 general elections, we will be more vigilant and proactive, knowing that these destabilising forces are not likely to tone down their antics.
“They may continue to plot nefarious schemes in order to obtain political gains,” Mr Matawalle said.
He thanked the APC leader for taking time out to visit and commiserate with the government and people of the state.
“May Allah richly reward you and fulfil your desire of building a strong bond among Nigerians across all the divides.”