The Zamfara state government says it will recruit 1,700 local charmers in addition to the 8,500 members of Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) recruited earlier to address security challenges in the state.
The state commissioner for local government and chieftaincy, Alhaji Bello Dankande, said this in Gusau on Wednesday, April 3, at a security meeting with traditional rulers, Fulani leaders and local government council chairmen in the state.
The state government had last year recruited 8,500 members of CJTF as part of measures to tackle the security challenges facing the state.
He said government came up with the policy to recruit local charmers considering the increase in security challenges in the state.
“In each of the 17 emirates, we are going to recruit 100 local charmers in addition to the 500 recruited per each emirate earlier.
“We are going to recruit other personnel from each emirate to monitor filling stations to ensure that fuel did not get to the bandits in the forests,’’ he said.
According to him, the meeting was organised by the ministry to discuss with Fulani leaders and other stakeholders, especially traditional rulers and local government chairmen on how to address the challenges.
“If we recall, we earlier met with Fulani leaders in the state; we gave them an assignment to go and consult with their members who are involved in banditry and criminal activities.
“If they have any grievances we can sit down with them and resolve them,” he said.
He challenged Fulani leaders to call their people to order, as majority of them were involved in criminals activities crippling the state.
“Enough is enough because as a government, we will not allow such criminals to be killing our people on a daily basis.
“We are aware that the Army Headquarters launched operation Harbin Kunama 3 in this state last Monday.
“Both the Federal and the state governments are making efforts to end criminal activities in the state,” he stressed.
In his remarks, the Emir of Gusau, Alhaji Ibrahim Bello who spoke on behalf of the State Council of Chiefs, described the meeting as a good step to address security problems in the state.
Bello described the involvement of traditional rulers in the meeting as `a morale booster’’ to them.
“As custodians of our people’s culture, we have vital a role to play in addressing so many problems in society. We are partnering at the emirate level with various stakeholders.
“We have been meeting regularly with them to support government in addressing the challenges.
“I am therefore giving the assurance of our cooperation with government at all levels and security agencies in fighting criminal activities,’’ he said.
The state commissioner of Police, Mr Celestine Okoye, called for dialogue with the aggrieved groups in the state.
Okoye noted that the meeting was a good move to address the problem, saying that “all what we are working is to resolve these problems peacefully to restore peace and stability in the state.
“Therefore, involvement of our royal fathers and Fulani leaders will help in tackling the security challenges in the state,’’ he said.
He however lamented that Zamfara was one of the most peaceful states in the country with various potentials in terms of mineral and agricultural resources but had been affected by serious security challenges.
He urged Fulani leaders in the state to approach their subjects who were involved in criminal activities, should they have any grievance, to solve it amicably.
“If we look at the world today, dialogue is being used in addressing security challenges. We don’t want to use fire in tackling these challenges unless where it becomes necessary,” the CP added.
The chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulaiman, urged government to assist in educating Fulani children.
Sulaiman said most of them got involved in criminal activities due to illiteracy.
“I am therefore appealing to government and other stakeholders to help us in enrollments of Fulani children in schools,’’ he pleaded.
He gave the assurance that the association was ever ready to cooperate with government at all levels as well as security agencies in any measure to fight banditry in the state.