Zamfara emirs have narrated how over 100 miners operating between Anka and Maru Local Government Areas the state were abducted by bandits.
Emir of Anka, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmad, who spoke on behalf of other members of the state Council of Chiefs as chairman, disclosed this when the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Lucky Irabor, led service chiefs on an assessment visit to the state governor, Bello Matawalle Tuesday.
According to the emir, the bandits also killed 10 persons during an invasion of a mining site in the state.
The emirs spoke as the two chambers of the National Assembly, Senate and House of Representatives, yesterday charged the National Security Adviser, NSA, Major General Babagana Monguno, and the new service chiefs to deploy more men to areas affected by insurgency, herdsmen attacks, banditry and kidnapping and take the fight to the criminals.
But the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, said the Nigerian Army has not done badly, noting that the agency had achieved commendable successes in the fight against terrorism, banditry and other forms of criminality across the country.
However, speaking the service chiefs’ visit, the emir said the incident which occurred on March 2, was over-shadowed by the abduction of the 279 GGSS, Jangebe girls by another gang of bandits which took place on the same day.
“The bandits have been attacking those involved in artisanal mining and carting away their money and property.
“There is a disconnect between miners and bandits in the state, so we were surprised when the declaration of ‘no fly zone’ was recently slammed on our state over suspected arms supply and illegal mining when the state does not even have an airport.
“We know that there are states with more security challenges than Zamfara and we expected that if such order would be issued, it should also cover such states.
“Our artisanal miners, who are licenced, have been very helpful to the state’s economic growth and they have played significant roles in ameliorating the hardship faced by IDPs in the state by supporting them,” he said.
The emir, who called for more security personnel to fight banditry in the state, noted that “the peace and dialogue initiative of our governor has become necessary because at the moment, we have less than 5,000 security men fighting over 30,000 bandits,” he said.
He, however, assured the service chiefs that people in the state will continue to pray for their success and urged the CDS to ensure there is synergy among all segments of the military during operations in order to block all escape routes against the criminals.
Responding, the CDS, according to Vanguard, commended the role played by the traditional rulers in fighting crime and urged them to continue to engage their subjects in giving credible information that would lead to the containment of bandits.
On his part, Governor Matawalle assured that his administration would intensify its peace and dialogue as well as support the security agencies in sustaining the onslaught against unrepentant bandits