The Governors of Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara states are to meet on Thursday in Katsina to strategise and strengthen efforts in tackling security issues in their states.
Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, who made the disclosure in Gusau, said the five governors will review the various approaches so far taken at individual state levels with a view to fine-tuning, re-strategising and strengthening them for enduring peace.
“This measure has already received the blessings of President Muhammadu Buhari who is pleased with the gradual attainment of peace in Zamfara under my leadership.
“The peace and reconciliation initiative I introduced in Zamfara has yielded good results which earned us commendation from the president because, in the last one month, the state only recorded one attack where sadly one person was killed.
“This peaceful approach is expected to take centre stage at our discussion during the meeting because it is a known fact globally now that through peaceful process, a lot can be achieved,” he noted.
Matawalle, who was one time the Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Security, explained that he had brought some of the experiences he acquired from that committee to bear on the Zamfara situation.
“We met with the dreaded Boko Haram members in Borno and peaceful agreed on the release of some innocent captives in return to the release of some of their members in custody which paved the way for the 2015 general elections.
“In Zamfara too, the peace initiative which is being headed by the Commissioner of Police, Usman Nagogo agreed on a ceasefire with the bandits and they have been releasing the innocent persons in their captivity.
“Unlike during the last administration in the state where one million naira was given on every recovered gun, we did not give room for such or any other condition and it has successfully worked.
“This is why President Buhari assured us of his support.
“You know however serious the federal government is in tackling security in any state, if the state government is not serious, it will not succeed.
“And this is exactly what led to the failure of the past administration in Zamfara in the fight against armed banditry and other crimes.
“At the moment, all the markets that were hitherto shut have been reopened and if you recall, traders used to leave markets on market days as early as 2 p.m., for fear of attack and kidnapping. Now they stay up to the night, yet they get home safely because of this effort,” Matawalle added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Zamfara which had been in the news in the past due to armed banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other crimes, now enjoys relative peace.
Roads, villages and markets that were virtually taken over by bandits have now reopened and resumed normal activities.