By Abdullahi M. GullomaAbuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed security agencies to deploy personnel to Zamfara state to halt the escalation of insecurity in the state following the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
This was disclosed by Governor Bello Matawalle while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a meeting with the president in Abuja.He said 20 people were killed on Wednesday in Talata Mafara local government, which necessitated his visit to the Presidential Villa to call for immediate intervention of the president. “I came to brief Mr. President on the current security situation in the state. After the disbandment of SARS we had some challenges, particularly day before yesterday about 20 people were killed in Talata Mafara Local Government Area. So I am soliciting for Mr. President to intervene and see how we can have more security personnel to secure the state’s territory. “I also informed him about some illegal miners activities taking place in the state. We have been able to form committee, a task force on illegal mining so that they can go round the state and fish out those behind the illegal mining activities. “Most of the illegal miners are not Nigerians but with the support of army, police and other security agencies in the state, some of them were apprehended and repatriated to their respective countries. Those were the two issues we discussed with Mr. President,” he said.
When reminded that SARS was disbanded because of allegations of extortion, rape and extra judicial killings and if he was not worried they could repeat same in the state, the governor said the disbanded police unit did well in the state.“For me, in Zamfara state SARS were doing very well because they were tracking those criminals and prosecuting them, particularly those in the high area, SARS had the capacity to track and bring them to justice. So, for me, in Zamfara state we are in need of SARS, we know with their presence we have experienced peace in the state.“…I am not saying it must be SARS, whatever name will be given to it, we want them in our state. We did not experience any of those things they did that caused them to be disbanded in my state.Asked what the president’s response was, the governor said: “He directed the Chief of Staff to the president to take measures to connect with other relevant government agencies that we have discussed with about the issue of security. So, the Chief of Staff will contact the army, police and other security agencies to mobilize more security to the state with immediate effect.”The governor also spoke on illegal mining in Zamfar state, saying over 30 illegal miners have been deported from the state.“We have deported 11 Chinese and over 20 from Burkina Faso and Mali. You know we have the problem of a very porous border particularly from Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Niger Republic.
“People used to cross freely but with the measures that have been taken by the Nigeria Immigration Services, I know they have deployed some drones on this border to checkmate the movement of other nationals into Nigeria. I am confident that very soon we won’t have the problem of other nationals illegally come into our country anymore,” he said.