The Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, yesterday said that he is ready to sacrifice his position for a state of emergency to be imposed on his state.
The governor was reacting to the worsening insecurity situation in the state.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Yari said his call for a state of emergency was not merely playing “politics.”
The governor also expressed confidence that the lingering cases of armed banditry in the state won’t affect the forthcoming elections, adding that they are not occupying any territory in the state.
Yari, who said he met with the President over the security situation in the state, said the issue of armed banditry was being exaggerated.
According to him, some politicians had suggested the declaration of state of emergency on the wrong assumption that he would be afraid to lose his office.
Yari assured that he was prepared to do anything that would ensure peace and security in the state.
On his support for declaration of emergency in Zamfara, he said he was not playing politics with it, saying, “Yes, we are there as a government because it’s lives of people we are talking about. If there are no lives we won’t be there. So, therefore, I did not make that statement out of politics because the way some other people are looking at it politically.
“Since my inception, I have never taken insecurity as a political affair, but I look at it as criminality and I approach it in the way that it can be solved. Some other politicians have been calling for state of emergency since three years ago, then I said to myself if state of emergency would solve the problem, then Yari is ready to go.”
Asked whether he discussed the declaration of emergency with Buhari, he said, “not at all.”
According to him, if the security agencies were serious, the insecurity in Zamfara could be easily brought under control.
“You are aware of what is happening in Zamfara State, and some part of the neighbouring state on the issue of banditry, abduction and insurgency. So it’s important that I come forward to brief Mr. President on the situation on ground, which I just did.
“We sit down as head of security in the state and all other stakeholders where we review the situation and come with the report that we think will help the security agencies there through Mr. President to strategize so that they can curb the problem.
“There is no place being occupied by the armed bandits in Zamfara State. They live and operate in the forest. They strike and run. Most of the camps are known by locals,” he said.
While lamenting the lack of presence of police in many parts of the state, he said policemen redeployed from the state following President Buhari’s directive have not been replaced.
He recalled that the President had directed that policemen who had spent three years and above be redeployed as a strategy to address the armed banditry in the state.
On the situation on ground, Yari said: “The situation is calm now as a state. We are putting our best to ensure normalcy returns; we have started getting results. We believe strongly that with what we have on ground, in terms of number of security personnel if they take their job seriously, within a short time the problem of banditry, kidnapping and insurgency would become history.”