Abdulaziz Yari, Governor of Zamfara State, has revealed that 8,000 housewives are widows, while 16,000 children have become orphans due to the ongoing banditry in the state.
While speaking at the two-day Federal and States Security Administrators’ meeting held in Gusau, the state capital, on Thursday, the Governor said bandits killed at least 5,000 and injured more than 9,000 others, while over 10,000 houses and silos were destroyed.
He also revealed that the government pays between N500,000 and N1million to the family of each person killed, while between N250,000 and N500,000 goes to those injured by bandits in Zamfara.
Speaking through Abdullahi Shinkafi, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), he said the new roads, which were constructed between 2011 and 2019, across the 14 Local Government Areas of the state, could not be used owing to the activities of bandits and kidnappers. He noted that the state began to encounter security concerns in 2009.
He said: “It is on record that since the beginning of this armed bandits and kidnapping phenomenon, more than 4,000 lives have been lost in the state, more than 9,000 persons injured, just as more than 10,000 houses, shops, and silos have been destroyed, while over 100,000 people have been displaced.
“Over 500 villages and towns have been destroyed, 10,000 persons displaced, 8,000 women widowed, and 16,000 children orphaned by the ugly trend.
"The situation is sending away investors from Zamfara State, which used to be a major centre of commercial activities.
“These are the consequences of the ugly trends. So, generally, people are in a state of fear. In the past seven years of this administration, the state constructed over 2,000 kilometres of road, thousands of classrooms, and 716 health facilities, but most of them cannot be used due to insecurity. It is unfortunate that there are more than 10,000 bandits across the eight major camps in the state.
“In spite of the increase in the number of security personnel in the state, the problem still persists. This situation is more serious than the way we thought it was. The security issue is the duty of all of us; communities should support security agencies with useful information.”
The governor said his administration had expended N20billion on the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, including the welfare of the IDPs, just as he called for efforts to address the situation.
He said: “The state government normally pays between N500,000 and N1million to the family of each person killed, and between N250,000 and N500,000 to those injured by bandits in the state.
“We fight those that we don’t know. Security is an issue for all of us; we have to fight it collectively. It is not time to share the blames by pointing at each other, but to find a lasting solution.”