By Umar Isa
The Federal Government says the persistent attacks on residents of Zamfara State by bandits will affect food security in the country.
The Minister of Interior, Alhaji Abdulrahman Dambazau, said this on Wednesday in Gusau during an on-the-spot assessment of the activities of the bandits in the state.
He said, “Since those affected by the killings are largely the agrarian rural dwellers, the activities of the bandits will have a serious impact on agriculture and food security.
“This is a final warning, the bandits must stop these acts forthwith because the Federal Government has devised more stringent ways to deal with them.
“I want to assure them that they cannot withstand the consequences.’’
He said stakeholders in the security sector in the state would meet to fine tune the new measures that would be used in tackling the threat posed by the bandits.
The minister, however, advised the hoodlums to immediately surrender and embrace peace.
He expressed President Muhammadu Buhari’s condolences to the people of the state over the attacks.
“This administration will continue to go to any length to protect the lives and properties of the citizens because any single innocent life lost has a devastating effect on the nation and is unacceptable,’’ he said.
Responding, Alhaji Sanusi Rikiji, who is the Acting Governor and Speaker of the House of Assembly, lamented that the security situation in the state was getting out of hand and required the concerted efforts of all stakeholders.
“This crisis started as a farmers /herdsmen conflict but has now escalated to the killing of the innocent, cattle- rustling and kidnapping,’’ he said.
The Acting Governor, who commended the joint efforts of the security agencies at all the flashpoints, noted that the hoodlums had devised fresh tactics to evade confrontation with security personnel.