In a recent meeting with Governor Dauda Lawal of Zamfara, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Maj.-Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja expressed his firm opposition to the amnesty program for bandits and terrorists in Zamfara and other states, labeling it a failed initiative. Lagbaja emphasized that the amnesty program had not achieved its intended purpose in the past, as it only provided an opportunity for criminals to regroup, reorganize, and launch further attacks on defenseless citizens.
Lagbaja further criticized the amnesty program’s ineffectiveness in the Northwest region, stating, “The criminal elements have proven to be incorrigible. The issue of amnesty has created an avenue for them to regroup and reorganize to launch an attack on our defenseless citizens. So I think we need to look at that.” He urged for a reassessment of the program due to the criminals’ exploitation of it.
During the meeting, Lagbaja expressed his gratitude to Governor Lawal for providing feedback on the activities of the troops deployed to restore peace in Zamfara. He assured the governor of his commitment to addressing the security challenges faced by the state. To enhance operations, Lagbaja revealed that he had directed the deployment of additional platforms and the allocation of funds to reactivate non-functioning platforms.
The COAS acknowledged that the crisis in Zamfara encompassed various issues, including conflicts between farmers and herders, ethnic confrontations, and the pursuit of economic empowerment through mining activities. Lagbaja emphasized that the Army was resolute in confronting these security challenges.
Lagbaja emphasized, “We will not have a situation where some people constitute themselves into outlaws and just go into communities and kill children and defenseless women.” He called for collaboration between the state government, critical stakeholders, and the Army to eliminate these criminal elements and significantly reduce insecurity.
Governor Lawal acknowledged the severe security threat faced by Zamfara and appealed for the support of the Nigerian army in addressing it. While commending the efforts of the troops in restoring peace, he urged for additional military resources to support operations. The governor highlighted the state’s limited number of operational vehicles, rampant cases of kidnapping, and the daily killing of innocent people.
Lawal emphasized, “Zamfara is the state that is facing the most challenge in the area of insecurity today.” He stressed the need for the Chief of Army Staff and his team’s support to bring peace not only to Zamfara but to Nigeria as a whole.
The governor emphasized the importance of increased manpower from the military to complement the efforts of security officers in combating crime.
Insecurity has had devastating effects on development in Zamfara, including hindering education, farming, and other economic activities, ultimately impacting the lives of the state’s residents.