For suggesting that the recurring bloody banditry in Zamfara State is a function of his bad governance, the state chief executive, Governor Abdulaziz Yari, has lashed out at the federal government and one of its ministers, alluding to ineptitude on the part of federal security forces.
The banditry has claimed not less than 300 lives in the last one year, but the state governor is clatiming the state government has spent about N15 billion to keep security forces controlled by the federal government in place to secure the area.
Minister for Interior and former Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Abdulrahman Dambazau, said at the Presidential Villa in Abuja during a panel session at the opening of the 67th International Press Institute Congress on Thursday:“Good governance is the final solution to the security challenges in Zamfara, it is not the number of soldiers.
“It is not good governance for the governor of Zamfara to say he is withdrawing as chief security officer. Even if he is given all the soldiers in the world, he can’t use those forces to deal with those issues.”
However, in an early morning statement on Friday, the Governor, through his spokesman, Mallam Ibrahim Dosara, bristled and expressed “total disappointment and disbelief that, an army general would engage in buck passing and scapegoating at a time the people of Zamfara state are desperately looking for decisive action from the federal government.”
According to the state government, “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.”
The statement challenged the minister to tell Nigerians “why state governors in the Northeast, Kaduna and Benue states should be blamed for insecurity when the security personnel are not answerable to them.”
The statement explained that “blaming poor governance or the Governor of Zamfara state would not help matters, adding that dodging responsibility and blaming others for insecurity would not in any way reassure the victims that a solution is in sight.”
He explained further that the Zamfara state government spends N600 million every month for the payment of allowances and logistical support to security agencies which are under federal control.
Elaborating on the expenditure, the Zamfara state government said it has so far spent over 15 billion naira in support of security agencies. This is in addition to 500 vehicles provided to the security agencies.
The statement therefore said rather than being blamed by the minister, the Zamfara state government should be commended for its immeasurable support to security agencies, and that the people of Zamfara state have every reason to expect results for these financial supports.
According to the statement, the minister should commend the Zamfara state government for using its meager financial resources to support the efforts to provide security for the people.
“We are utterly surprised that the minister of interior should be blaming the victims of insecurity instead of making a case for Zamfara state for prompt and decisive action to defeat the armed bandits committing atrocities in the state”, the statement lamented.
“ We should also like to ask the minster why he didn’t blame poor governance for terrorists attacks in other northern states or why he thinks state governments should be blamed when they have no power to order troops deployment”, the statement added.
According to the statement, blaming the Zamfara state government “is sheer blackmail, a diversionary ploy and an attempt to protect certain people from taking responsibility for their failure, adding that the Buhari administration should decisively hold the leadership of security organizations accountable instead of blaming the Zamfara state government, despite committing billions to help our federal security personnel.”
The statement demands a public apology from the minister for blaming the Zamfara stete government for the failure or inaction by others, adding that at this point blame game wouldn’t help anybody.
It explained that it is totally unacceptable to blackmail the Zamfara state government and incite the people against it by making it a scapegoat for the persistent security challenges in the state.