Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara, has given bandits two months to surrender their weapons and embrace the state’s peace initiative.
Matawalle gave the ultimatum on Tuesday in a broadcast on the security situation in the state.
The governor, who listed other steps his government will take to tackle insecurity in Zamfara, said President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the deployment of 6,000 additional troops to the state.
“As a fall out of my discussion with President Muhammadu Buhari and security high commands in Abuja, it was resolved that 6,000 additional troops are to be deployed to the state to complement the current efforts by the security forces. The troops will soon arrive in the state for their operations,” he said.
“Again, the president has agreed to a timeframe within which the recalcitrant bandits should accept our peace truce and surrender their weapons to the government.
“Even though we are enjoying relative peace as a result of the dialogue and reconciliation programme, many bandits have refused to key into the programme and elected to sustain their attacks and other nefarious activities against our communities.
“Government has equally observed that there is sabotage by some unscrupulous elements, both within and outside the state. It is also observed that informants are becoming rampant and their callous activities undetected due to some of our people’s attitude of indifference.
“As a further push to bring to an end the activities of the recalcitrant bandits so as to bring lasting peace to the state, the recalcitrant bandits have been given two months from today within which to embrace the peace process and surrender their weapons to the government.”
He warned “political actors” against compromising the security of the state, and directed traditional rulers and sole administrators of local government councils to “always remain in their respective domains to monitor the influx of any suspicious characters”.
“Conveyance of more than two persons on a motorbike is hereby banned with immediate effect. Security agents are directed to arrest and arraign the violators of this order for prosecution,” the governor added.
Movement of motorcycles in large numbers has also been banned in the Zamfara, just as social media handlers have been warned against spreading fake news, as the government “will no longer tolerate such unethical conduct and will deal decisively with anyone found in this act”.
The two-month ultimatum for bandits comes two weeks after the abduction of more than 200 students from Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, on February 26.
The girls were later released after spending days in the custody of the bandits.
Meanwhile, the federal government has declared Zamfara a no-fly zone, and banned all mining activities in the state, as part of efforts to address insecurity.