A former Senator, Sa’idu Dansadau said over N1.2 billion has been paid as ransom to kidnappers in Zamfara state to secure the released of villagers abducted in the last two years.
He said in a news conference in Abuja that over 3,000 people have been killed by bandits between June 2016 to June 2018.
Dansadau, a Federal minister from 1999 to 2007 said declaration of state of Emergency in the state is the panacea to the problem of insecurity in the state.
“Any remedial measure taken by the federal government short of declaring an emergency will not produce any positive result,”.
According to him, 682 villages and towns were sacked by the bandits causing residents to flee to neighbouring states of Katsina and Kebbi.
Dansadau added that 2,706 farms were also destroyed, while 13,838 cattle, and 11,088 sheep and goats were rustled.
He said of the 682 villages raided, residents were only able to return to 374 of them.
He said the bandits during the period stole motorcycles totalling 2,244.
Dansadau said he arrived at these figures by multiplying the figures obtained from Dansadau constituency by 22 other constituencies affected by banditry.
He said the resignation of Abdulaziz Yari, governor of the state, as chief security officer “depicts his incapacity, unsuitability, and impropriety to continue to function as governor and expect people of Zamfara State to be safe from the criminalities of these terrorists.”
Dansadau asked President Muhamadu Buhari to empower Abubakar Maikobi, force commander of operation whirl stroke II, to execute the military operation which “Governor Yari refused to do”.
“We are not requesting President Buhari to remove Abdulaziz Yari from office by declaring state of emergency but to suspend all elected public officers in the stare for six months to enable Major General Abubakar Maikobi, the Force Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke II with operational Headquarters in Gusau, Zamfara State, consult widely in executing the military operation which Governor Yari refused to do “in spite of all entreaties from different quarters,” he said.
Reacting to Dansadau’s comments, Ibrahim Dosara, special adviser to Yari on public enlightenment, media, and communication said: “the governor won’t join issues with him (Dansadau).”
He said the governor had already set up “a committee of elders to fish out anybody involved in banditry in whatever capacity – be it informant or bandit. It is good for Dansadau to go back to his emirate and give his advice.”