Sa’idu Dansadau, ex-senator representing Zamfara central, says bandits have killed about 3,000 people in the state in the last two years.
Dansadau, who spoke during a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, said over N1.2 billion had been paid as ransom to secure the release of residents abducted during the period.
He said the killings took place between June 2016 and June 2018.
The former lawmaker said the government needed to declare a state of emergency if it wanted to curb the attacks.
“Any remedial measure taken by the federal government short of declaring an emergency will not produce any positive result,” Dansadau said.
Dansadau also served as minister between May 1999 and May 2007 under the administration of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.
According to him, 682 villages and towns were sacked by the bandits causing residents to flee to neighbouring states of Katsina and Kebbi.
Dansadau added that 2,706 farms were also destroyed, while 13,838 cattle, and 11,088 sheep and goats were rustled.
He said of the 682 villages raided, residents were only able to return to 374 of them.
He said the bandits during the period stole motorcycles totalling 2,244.
Dansadau said he arrived at these figures by multiplying the figures obtained from Dansadau constituency by 22 other constituencies affected by banditry.
He said the resignation of Abdulaziz Yari, governor of the state, as chief security officer “depicts his incapacity, unsuitability, and impropriety to continue to function as governor and expect people of Zamfara State to be safe from the criminalities of these terrorists.”
Dansadau asked President Muhamadu Buhari to empower Abubakar Maikobi, force commander of operation whirl stroke II, to execute the military operation which “Governor Yari refused to do”.
“We are not requesting President Buhari to remove Abdulaziz Yari from office by declaring state of emergency but to suspend all elected public officers in the stare for six months to enable Major General Abubakar Maikobi, the Force Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke II with operational Headquarters in Gusau, Zamfara State, consult widely in executing the military operation which Governor Yari refused to do “in spite of all entreaties from different quarters,” he said.
Reacting to Dansadau’s comments, Ibrahim Dosara, special adviser to Yari on public enlightenment, media, and communication said: “the governor won’t join issues with him (Dansadau).”
He said the governor had already set up “a committee of elders to fish out anybody involved in banditry in whatever capacity – be it informant or bandit. It is good for Dansadau to go back to his emirate and give his advice.”
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