Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State in northern Nigeria has ordered security chiefs in the state to head field operations in the fight against bandits as the police have ruled out negotiations with the hoodlums.Yari said on Monday at the end of the state Security Council meeting to map out strategy to tackle banditry in the state that security would now be closer to their men on the field.
“There will certainly be no room for the bandits. I want to assure Nigerians and the rest of the world that banditry and other criminal activities will soon come to an end in Zamfara State.
“We will set up camps in all the affected areas so that coordination of the operation can be easier and on target.
“We are going to send the same message to all the other affected states of Kebbi, Katsina, Kaduna, Kano, Sokoto and Niger, so that we jointly operate on the same frequency in dealing with the criminals,” he said.
The governor, who commended the recent ban on mining activities in the state by the Federal Government, noted that the ban had further frustrated the bandits and their hiding places.
“We have realised that there is a partnership between the criminals and the miners, because some of the kidnap victims reported that they were kept near mining sites.
“The State Government has never benefited from any royalties or tax from these miners, so they have not contributed anything towards the development of the state,” Yari said.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Zamfara State, Mr. Celestine Okoye, said that security agents would not negotiate with the bandits just as the Zamfara State Governor directs security chiefs to confront the menace.
Okoye made this position known on Sunday in Talata-Mafara, in Zanfara State while addressing newsmen shortly after a state Security Council meeting.
“When you talk of negotiations, it means the issue has not gone far. We have shut down all avenues of negotiation.
“The bandits should know that we are now going to come in full force and there will be no escape for them.
“Very soon, banditry activities will be over in Zamfara State, but we will not disclose details of the measures to be used,” he said.