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I Do Not Have Control Over Security In My State – Gov Lawal

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Zamfara State Governor, Dauda Lawal, has decried the bandits activities in the North-Western state, blaming the situation on what he described as political interference.

The governor, who spoke during a town hall on Channels Television to mark Nigeria’s 25th Democracy Day in Abuja on Wednesday, said precious human lives are being toyed with.

“By name, I am the chief security officer of my state but when it comes to command and control, I don’t have control over any of the security outfits whether the military, the police or civil defence,” he said.

“They take their instructions from their superiors, not from the governors. We don’t have that control, I wish we did, it would have been a different story.”

He said the security situation has not improved owing to what he described as political interference in the state.

According to the governor, the security agencies have all it takes to crush criminal elements across the country.

Reacting to the frustrating issue in tackling banditry in Zamfara State, he said: “There is so much political interference in this country.”

“Political interference is the major factor here. If we don’t have that, the military has the capacity to crush anybody. Remember, we do have our forces in Liberia, Sierra Leone and they did very well.”

The governor expressed optimism that banditry and other security challenges can be crushed within two weeks if there is political will.

Zamfara state is one of several in the region plagued by criminals known as bandits who raid and loot villages, kill residents and burn houses to the ground.

The gangs maintain camps in a huge forest straddling Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger states, and have carried out mass kidnappings of students from schools in recent years.

Banditry in the northwest is just one of the severe security challenges Nigerian authorities are struggling to control.

Though the bandits are driven by financial gain, there are concerns among officials and analysts about their growing ties with jihadists waging a 14-year insurgency in the northeast.

Worried by the situation, Governor Lawal had in February declared the formation of the Zamfara State Community Protection Guards at a ceremony in the state capital Gusau.


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