The Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mohammad Matawalle, says his administration has secured the release of over 2000 kidnapped victims.
He said this was achieved through dialogue and peace process initiated in the state.
He said since he assumed office, over 62 bandits have accepted and embraced peace.
The Governor, through his newly appointed Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Ibrahim Magaji Dosera, disclosed this at a news briefing in Kaduna on Friday.
He said the repentant bandits are also helping in campaigning and convincing those who are yet to accept the dialogue and reconciliation process to do so.
“They (repentant bandits) are also helping in the identification of the leaders of the recalcitrant bandits, including their camps and location for dialogue and reconciliation. Since the commencement of the dialogue and peace process with the bandits, Zamfara State got free of any attack and kidnapping for almost eight (8) months, until recently when kidnapping and light attacks resurfaced,” he said.
The governor attributed the in ability of the federal government to tackle insecurity in North West to shortage of manpower in the security sector and a very poor intelligence network.
“Now tell me, which is the best option for the governor? To fold his arms to watch his people being killed or to go for dialogue and continue to use the repentant bandits to convince the recalcitrant bandits to save the lives of the governed?” he asked
He explained further that since he took over the leadership of the state he organized for a stakeholders meeting comprising members of the state Assembly, Traditional Rulers, Security Chiefs in the state, Local Council Chairmen, the Council of Ulamas, Fulani and Yansakai leaders, Community and Opinion Leaders, and other critical stakeholders to discuss on the way forward to bring lasting peace in the state.
He said the recent upsurge in attacks and kidnappings are being masterminded by conflict entrepreneurs and informants who connive with the recalcitrant bandits to commit heinous acts.