Zamafara Killings: Public officials blame each other

current event news articles

The criticisms by public officials over who to take responsibility for the killings in Zamfara continued on Friday with a senator restating his blame on the state governor as seen on the current event news articles today.

Kabir Marafa (APC, Zamfara) said the federal government has confirmed his stand on the failure of Governor Abdulaziz Yari to stop banditry in the state.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the past year by bandits in Zamfara who attack villages at will.

Mr Marafa in a statement said he has made several calls to the governor regarding the killings in the state. He said rather than Mr Yari to heed his advice, the governor tagged him an enemy.

He made reference to the speech by the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, during a panel session at the opening of the 67th International Press Institute Congress in Abuja.

“Zamfara State is our only state we must therefore put all hands on deck to make it work. Like the Federal Government, I have faulted the Governor’s halfhearted approach to the problem of banditry that had grounded almost all activities in the state,” Mr Marafa said.

Mr Dambazzau had urged state governors to focus on good governance instead of shifting blame to the federal government or security agencies.

“Good governance is the best solution to the crisis being witnessed in some parts of the country; once there is good governance in place, there wouldn’t be such problems,” he said.

In the statement, Mr Marafa said the first step to end the banditry was for the governor to show courage by bringing those around him that are accused of having a hand in the “business” to book.

“While the second and most important one is taking his job serious by stopping without further delay all his regular trips to Abuja and outside the country and concentrate on providing the much needed leadership in the state,” he said.

The senator asked Mr Yari to stop blaming the president for his failures.

“He should discard the secondary responsibility of governors forum chair and concentrate on his primary responsibility of providing security of lives and property of the people of the state.

“If he remains an absentee governor, there is no how he can tackle the menace of banditry in the state. It is only when he is on ground that other things can take shape for the good of the state,” he said.

In his reaction, Mr Yari described the minister’s comments as most unfortunate. He said the minister’s comment shows he does not know what is called good governance.

Mr Yari, in a statement, said the state government so far spent over N15 billion in support of security agencies to end killings in the state. He said that was in addition to 500 vehicles provided to the security agencies to aid their operations across the state.

He said rather than being blamed by the minister, the Zamfara State Government should be commended for its support to security agencies. He said the people of Zamfara have every reason to expect good results for their financial support to security agencies in the state.

“It is totally misleading and insulting to the intelligence of Nigerians to blame a state governor for the failure of security when he has no power and control over the deployment of troops to fight the bandits and protect lives,” he said.

The governor wondered how Mr Dambazzau, a retired general, member of the national security council and ex-army chief, would engage in buck passing and scapegoating at a time the people of Zamfara State are looking for decisive action from the federal government.

Mr Yari challenged the minister to tell Nigerians whether state governors in the North-east, Kaduna, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Edo, Plateau and Benue states should be blamed for insecurity when the security personnel are not answerable to them.

“Is the minister’s refusal to visit Zamfara as minister of interior who is in charge of internal security, to assess the situation there, to listen and address the complaints by the junior security personnel, sympathize with the people of Zamfara state and offer professional advice, good governance?

“Or is the minister’s inability to control the infiltration or influx of foreign agents with evil intentions into the country, paving ways for criminality, that is good governance?” he asked.

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