Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle on Thursday accused traditional rulers in the state of sabotaging his administration’s peace efforts which has led to the recent deterioration of insecurity in the state.
Mr Matawalle, at a meeting with the heads of the state’s security agencies in the Government House, Gusau the state capital, said the traditional rulers were not playing their expected roles in the fight against banditry.
The governor said some traditional rulers were aiding the illegal activities of outlawed vigilante groups in their domains, which he said was provoking reprisal attacks by bandits.
The governor also condemned a statement by the chairman of the state’s traditional rulers’ council, the Emir of Anka, Attahiru Ahmad, in which he challenged the state government to allow citizens to bear arms for self-defence since the government had failed in protecting the citizens.
The governor said, “it is discouraging to have a respected personality like the state chairman Council of Chiefs to grant an interview with journalists to challenge the efforts of the government and security operatives.”
He noted that security is a collective responsibility and not that of the government alone adding that if the residents and traditional leaders are not interested in his administration’s dialogue with the bandits, he would withdraw from it.
Responding, however, Mr Ahmad said he was quoted out of context noting that he only appealed to the authorities to protect citizens across the country.