Gov Mohammed Matawalle
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“Government has henceforth, directed individuals to prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against the bandits…”

The governor of Zamfara State, Mohammed Matawalle has directed residents of the state, particularly farmers to acquire guns to defend themselves against bandits and terrorists across the state

The directive follows what the state government describes as the deteriorating security situation in parts of the state.

In a statement by the Zamfara State Commissioner for Information, Mr Ibrahim Magaji Dosara, issued to journalists on Sunday, the governor has ordered the state commissioner of police to issue licences to residents who are willing and qualified to obtain guns to defend themselves against the marauding terrorists.

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Matawalle in the statement said that the government would distribute 500 forms to each of the 19 emirates in the state for those willing to obtain such self-defence weapons.

He said the government has approved the immediate closure of all markets, filling stations and banned the riding of motorcycles in Mada, Wonaka and Ruwan Bore districts as well as Yandoto emirate in Gusau and Tsafe Local Government Areas of the state respectively, due to the deteriorating security situation.

The governor explained that the government has ordered for the recruitment of 200 additional Community Protection Guards (CPG) in each of the 19 emirates of the state to boost their manpower and capacity to tackle banditry and other heinous crimes in the state.

He added that the government also approved the formation of additional paramilitary units in order to properly and effectively reinforce the operations of the state’s community protection guards.

The statement partly reads, “Government has henceforth, directed individuals to prepare and obtain guns to defend themselves against the bandits, as government has directed the state commissioner of police to issue license to all those who qualify and are wishing to obtain such guns to defend themselves.

“Government is ready to facilitate people, especially our farmers, to secure basic weapons for defending themselves. Government has already concluded an arrangement to distribute 500 forms to each of the 19 Emirates in the state for those willing to obtain guns to defend themselves.

“People must apply from the Commissioner of Police, license to own guns and such other basic weapons to be used in defending themselves. A secretariat or centre will be established for the collection of intelligence on the activities of informants.’’

He also added, ‘’In addition this, government has equally banned riding of motorbikes and selling of petroleum products in Mada, Wonaka and Ruwan Bore districts, as well as Yandoto emirate.

‘’Henceforth, all filling stations on the affected areas are hereby closed with immediate effect. Anybody found riding motorbike within the areas is considered as bandits and security agencies are thereby directed to shoot such persons at sight. Security agencies are by this announcement directed to ensure strict compliance. Anybody found violating this order should be dealt with according to the rule of law. The government would not condone any act where innocent people are being killed.’’

The commissioner further noted that the government has already concluded arrangements to distribute 500 forms to each of the 19 emirates in the state for those willing to obtain the guns.

Banditry, kidnapping and other terrorist activities seem to have continued unabated in Zamfara state, with huge casualty figures.

Recall that the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), on September 4, 2021,  had suspended telecommunication services in Zamfara state in order to block information flow between bandits, kidnappers and their collaborators in the state.

However, the suspension of telecom services across the state was lifted on November 28, 2021, as services were restored.

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