Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has denied reports that he bought and gave vehicles to some of the bandits involved in criminal activities in the state who have now repented.
The governor broke his silence on the allegation published by a prominent online publication at an inter-sectoral security meeting with traditional rulers, security agents, religious leaders and journalists at the Government House, Gusau, on Thursday.
“I am in receipt of report that l bought Hilux vans to repentant bandits which l never did,” Matawalle said.
“Brig. Gen. Bello, have l ever given any vehicle to even repentant bandits in the state as reported recently by Sahara Reporters,” the governor asked the 1 Brigade Commander of the Nigerian Army, Gusau.
The army officer, however, informed the gathering that soldiers in the state, including himself, were surprised when they saw the report and that the governor had never done anything like that apart from the 200 operational vehicles given to the security agencies by the state government last year.
Zamfara, Niger, Kaduna, Katsina and Sokoto States have seen more frequent attacks from bandits in recent years, despite heightened security measure in the states.
The Zamfara State Government had in 2019 entered a peace agreement with some repentant bandits.
However, despite this move, communities in the state are still being attacked and residents kidnapped and/or killed.
The Governor also ordered the immediate suspension of unspecified number of district and village heads in Maradun Emirate where some Fulanis were killed in cold blood on Thursday.