The Vice-Chairman of Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara State, Alhaji Sani Galadima, on Monday said the council pays bandits ransoms daily.
Galadima said this when he received the Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdurrahman Dambazau, who was in the state to assess the security threat being posed by banditry and listen to the challenges facing the people.
Dambazau also visited the Emir of Bungudu, Alhaji Hassan Attahiru, in his palace where stakeholders expressed their travails at the hands of bandits operating in the state to the minister.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Galadima after highlighting the challenges being faced by the people of his local government area as a result of banditry said every day “we pay ransom to bandits.”
He said, “Six members of the Civilian JTF were attacked and killed on Sunday by the bandits after receiving their pay from Shinkafi town and were on their way back to their villages.
“Even yesterday (Sunday), these bandits sent a letter to the district head of Shinkafi town (saying) that they were coming to attack the town.
“This ugly situation is very disheartening; every day we pay millions of naira in ransom to these bandits. We really need government’s urgent support to end this problem.
“Our women also suffer a lot (because) the bandits attack communities and abduct ladies from their parents’ homes. People no longer sleep with their two eyes closed in the night in Shinkafi LGA.
“We want the government to resolve the issue of shortage of troops and police. We only have 19 soldiers in this town.
“We need urgent intervention from the government; we are not satisfied with the efforts and strategies of the security agencies.
“We all know the camps where these bandits stay; even the security men are aware of these camps; our major concern is that security personnel are not getting to these bandits.We are hoping that with this visit, this problem will come to an end.”
According to Galadima, at least 98 communities in Shinkafi LGA have been deserted due to the activities of bandits in the state.
Dambazau said, “This is not my first visit to Zamfara; we started this process to ensure lasting solutions to these problems, not only in Zamfara State.
“President Buhari asked me to visit Shinkafi and Anka emirates in Zamfara to carry out the assessment and discuss these issues. The President also expresses his condolence over loss of lives and destruction of properties as a result of insecurity.
“It is the responsibility of government to ensure lives and properties are secure. That is why we must do everything possible to ensure the end of this situation.
“We commenced this process by meeting with the leaders of Miyetti Allah; we are going to consult with traditional rulers and governors of the most affected states.”
The Emir of Shinkafi, Alhaji Muhammad Makwashe-Isah, who praised the minister for the visit, urged the Federal Government to do more in fighting banditry in the state.