Some repentant bandits have surrendered 216 rifles, mostly AK47, to the Zamfara State Government in Nigeria’s north-west zone, according to the Director-General of Press Affairs to the governor, Bello Matawalle.
Matawalle said the governor confirmed the takeover of the arms when he received former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) at the Government House in Gusau on Sunday, 30 June 2019.
He said that most of the weapons were voluntarily returned to the government by the repentant bandits, who have embraced peace.
The governor described the elder statesman’s visit to the state as timely and sought for professional advice from the retired general on the best practicable ways to end banditry in the state.
“Nigeria now needs more of his personality with the current situation of banditry, kidnapping and other heinous crimes in order to advise current leaders in handling the terrible situation.”
He further said that tapping from the wealth of Gowon’s experience as a former Army General and Head of State, who fought for the corporate existence of the country, will assist his administration positively on security, intelligence and intervention.
On his government efforts to end the menace of banditry, the governor informed Gowon that his administration has adopted various methods that included reconciliation.
The reconciliation, he said, had started to yield positive results as over 216 AK47 rifles had been surrendered to the authorities by the bandits.
In his response, Gowon said he was in the state for his Nigeria Pray initiative, to pray for an end to the violence in the Northwest and seek God’s blessings and wisdom for leaders to offer good governance as well as sustainable unity in the country.
Gowon enjoined all well-meaning citizens of the state to continue to pray for peace and unity of the country and Zamfara State.