Governor of Zamfara State, Dr. Bello Matawalle, visited the President of Niger Republic, Mohamed Bazoum, on Monday as part of efforts to end all forms of armed banditry in Nigeria and the Niger Republic.
According to a statement by his spokesman, Jamilu Magaji, the two leaders met at the Presidential Palace, Niamey.
The meeting was meant to discuss issues of insecurity especially in northwest Nigeria and the Niger Republic and resolved to explore more areas of support and cooperation between the Niger Republic and Zamfara State in particular.
Governor Matawalle, who expressed delight to the president of the Niger Republic Mohamed Bazoum for the opportunity given to him and Zamfara State Government to discuss issues of security, especially kidnapping, cattle rustling, and armed banditry in the Maradi region and parts of Zamfara, Katsina, and Sokoto states, briefed President Bazoum on the measures taken by his administration to end all forms of criminal activities in the region.
The governor said apart from the peace initiative and reconciliation process he started, his administration has provided intelligence to security agents on how best to trace informants who provide information to the armed bandits and their collaborators.
He explained that his administration has placed CCTV cameras that will monitor the activities and movements of people in the state capital with the aim of tracking and tracing criminal hideouts and their nefarious activities.
Matawalle also said his administration will donate five brand new Hilux vehicles to the Government of Niger Republic to provide special border patrol at Maradi and other parts of Niger Republic which share border with Zamfara, Katsina, and Sokoto states.
The governor noted that the brand new vehicles will be handed over to the Governor of Maradi Region in a ceremony to hold later.
He requested a regular meeting on security with the Nigerien Minister of Defence, the Governor of Maradi, and the Governor of Zamfara State, as well as those of Katsina and Sokoto, states, in a bid to end the lingering security challenges facing the two countries.
Responding, President Bazoum thanked Matawalle for the visit and all major efforts he has taken to end the insecurity affecting the two countries, especially within the border of Maradi and North-Western Nigeria.
Bazoum urged the governor to continue with the efforts taken to address insecurity in Zamfara by providing new methods to achieve the sustenance of peace already enjoyed in the region, pointing out that the Government of Niger Republic is ever ready to support Zamfara State in the fight against insecurity.
He also requested that Nigerian governors implement a total ban on the importation of motorcycles into Nigeria.
The president noted that the problem of armed banditry across the Niger Republic is coming from Madawa and Bayan Dutsi and escalated to Nigeria through the Region of Maradi.
He hoped that with the meeting and support provided to the Nigerien government by Governor Matawalle, the issue will be a thing of the past.
The meeting was attended by the Ministers of Defence and Internal Affairs of the Niger Republic, the Chief of Staff to President Mohamed Bazoum, the Service Chiefs of the Republic of Niger, and the country’s Inspector General of Police.
Accompanying Governor Matawalle were Senator Sahabi Yau Kaura, Representing Zamfara North Senatorial District; Hon member Representing Gummi/Bukkuyum Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, Engineer Suleiman Abubakar Mahmoud Gummi, Principal Private Secretary to the Governor, Lawal Umar Maradun, and some principal officers in the state.