By Abubakar Ahmed
As security agents map out strategy on combating kidnapping and banditry, Zamfara Council of Chiefs has requested the Federal Government to set up a panel or commission of inquiry to establish those behind banditry in the state and punish them.
The Chairman of the council and Emir of Anka, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmad, made the appeal on Monday when he received the Minister of Interior, retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, at his palace.
“We as a people will not forgive the actions of these people which have led to the killing and displacement of thousands of innocent citizens whose sources of livelihood have also been completely destroyed.
“Setting up of such a panel will help in bringing all the perpetrators to book,” he said.
The emir lauded some of the measures put in place against the bandits such as cutting their food and fuel supplies and added that the action had seriously frustrated the operations of the bandits.
“This should be followed by blocking the telephone service of the whole state by all the service providers because it is only when kidnappers can contact victims’ relations that they can demand for ransom.
“If GSM network for the whole state is blocked for between three and six months, l can assure you that it will go a long way because even informers can no longer disclose the movement of security personnel to the bandits.’’
The emir said in addition to blocking telephone links, all routes used by the bandits should be blocked and anyone coming or going through the routes should be arrested.
Ahmad pointed out that there were no more farmers/herders clashes in the state but criminal activities.
He said kidnapping had become a lucrative business in which kidnappers asked for foodstuffs, recharge cards and other necessities as ransom and urged government to allow security personnel to bombard all the identified bandits’ settlements in the bush.
Earlier, Dambazau said he was in the state on the instructions of President Muhammadu Buhari to once again commiserate with the people and discuss more ways of bringing lasting peace to the state.
He said, “the bandits are hereby given the last chance to surrender because moreEmir drastic measures will soon be applied against them.”
He said the government would ensure that farming fully resumed in all parts of the state in the current farming season.