By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Abuja – Gov. Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State has warned that any traditional ruler linked to banditry in the state will be deposed.
Yari issued the warning while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governor recently stripped some traditional rulers and district heads of their title over complicity in the lingering banditry that has bedeviled the state.
According to Yari, his government is trying to teach a lesson as the problem in the state and the North West is a peculiar one.
He said that some traditional rulers were supporting the activities of the bandits by taking advantage of their activities or taking money from them which posed great danger to the state.
“To give you trust to manage people through tradition and then you are taking part directly or directly; that cannot be accepted.
“So, anyone found wanting in this act will definitely face punishment; and we are trying to use all the avenues that we have to fish out those that are within us; within the traditional rulers and outside.
“That is why we have intelligence; we have the Civilian Joint Taskforce and all of them so that they can help us in giving us the detail; we have over 2, 600 men and women working against these bandits.
“The terrain is difficult and is not known to them; so we have employed those sons of the soil that will lead the security agencies to their door steps so we have been getting a very good result.
“If you are talking of the general public, how many are they, we are getting to 5 million and the traditional rulers are about 200 and above; so if we find anyone –underline this word; anyone wanting; he will go,’’ he said.
On his promise of N1 million reward for each Ak-47 riffle handed over by criminals, Yari said 10 riffles had been submitted so far.
Yari said, however, that he was in the villa to discuss about extended National Economic Council (NEC) meeting for the end of the year.
He said it was agreed that NEC would be held on Dec. 14 to discuss the economy and review its performance from January to date.(NAN)