By Ishaq Zaki
Gusau – he Zamfara State Government on Tuesday announced that it spent N35 billion to provide logistics, allowances for security agencies, and assist attack victims in the state.
Secretary to the Zamfara Government (SSG), Prof. Abdullahi Shinkafi, said this in Gusau while distributing relief materials to the victims of the attacks.
Shinkafi said that the relief materials were donated to the state by the wife of the President, Hajiya Aisha Buhari.
He expressed appreciation to Mrs Buhari for the gesture of the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammad Buhari.
According to him, since the unfortunate trend began, the state government has not relented in its collaborative efforts to support security agencies in their quest to address the menace.
He said that the Zamfara government, in complimenting the efforts of the Federal Government, had provided befitting office accommodation and other structures worth more than N10 million to the Nigerian Army.
“We have been supporting by providing logistics and allowance to security agencies, we have spent over N20 billion in this regard.
“We also provided 570 brand new Hilux and Range Rover Ford vehicles to the security agencies,” he said
He added that Gov. Abdulaziz Yari had set up a Relief and Damage Assessment Committee headed by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Alhaji Sanusi Rikiji, to cater for the affected communities.
He said the committee would assist the victims of banditry activities in the state.
“This committee is giving assistance in two forms, whenever there is attack they visit the affected community and render assistance to the victims.
“Each of the families of the deceased, received N500, 000 and N250, 000 for each of the injured person,
“In addition to this, the committee offer N250, 000 to those who lost any form of property, either building or silos among others, so under this committee we spent about N5 billion.
“We appreciate the efforts of President Buhari in the last four years by ensuring presence of adequate security which is a critical elements to addressing the problems.
“As of 2013 we had only 27 men from the military, now we have about 4000, before, we had only one Battalion Ammunition Depot later the federal government established 223 Battalion of the Nigerian Army, 207 Quick Response Unit, 1 Brigades of the Nigerian Army and later a GOC unit.
“Currently, we have about 4000 militar personnel we are cooperating with them strategising to see how we can put this problem to rest,” he said.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the state’s Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Malam Sanusi Kwatarkwashi, said the state recorded 37,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the state as a result of banditry.
Kwatarkwashi noted that the IDPs comprised 4,634 males, 9,269 females, and 23,172 children.
“It is disheartening to note that most of the victims were women and children,” he added.
He said that records available with the agency indicated that since Nov. 2018, 586 persons were killed, 267 injured, and 338 kidnapped .
“Many houses, silos, farmlands, and other properties worth millions of naira as well as dozens of cattle and sheep were destroyed within the period.
This figures could be higher because many cases have gone unreported,” he said. (NAN)