By Abba Kabara, Gusau
A committee headed by the former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Muhammad Dahiru Abubakar, disclosed that over six thousand lives have been lost to banditry from 2011 to 2019 in Zamfara state.
The committee which was constituted by Governor Bello Matawalle to probe into the genesis of banditry and recommend solutions also disclosed that the devastating scourge has consequently generated over four thousand widows and more than twenty five thousand orphans across the state.
Disclosing the findings of the committee during the presentation of the report to the state governor the former IGP explained that within the period under review over 2, 15000 cows were either rustled or killed by the killer bandits.
He also revealed that over two thousand houses were burnt and destroyed, adding that over N3bn was lost as ransom to free kidnapped victims. He lamented the hardship caused by the menace: “the magnitude of loss is huge enough to plunge the state into severe hardship and generate future social and economic challenges, particularly with the orphans who need immediate care and educational attention”.
According to him recommendations made by his committee include call on the state government to provide N125bn for the education of the orphans and for the government to and report and seek the assistance of the federal government to launch an N50bn orphans and widows foundation for livelihood and support.
“The committee has also recommended that the government must dare to appropriately sanction any person found either directly or indirectly involved in the promotion of banditry in the state no matter how highly placed he or she may be in the society,” the chairman disclosed.