The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that the 9th National Assembly would give special budgetary attention to the three Senatorial Districts of Zamfara in order to resolve the issue of insecurity in the state.
Hon. Gbajabiamila, stated this during his visit to the state as part of efforts to reconcile warring factions of herdsmen in the state.
He said the National Assembly would do everything within its constitutional powers to bring development to the state through allocation of resources in the budget.
Addressing leaders of the warring factions in Government House, Gusau, the state capital, the Speaker said he was happy to be part of the historic reconciliation between the factions, whose activities held the state to ransom for about 16 years.
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“From what I understand, what the Federal Government needs to do is to develop these areas; some of these issues are born out of poverty and frustration.
“I can assure you that the Federal Government, at least as far as the National Assembly is concerned, when it comes to budgeting of your 14 local governments, every senatorial district will be empowered as far as schools are concerned, as far as skills acquisition centers are concerned, for our people to learn and acquire skills and be empowered to go out and win the daily bread to take care of their families.
“It is for us to develop your three senatorial districts together with your State Government. You have capable hands from the National Assembly already. You have members that are from Zamfara who are representing you; they have already brought up the issues on the floor and when it comes to time for budgeting which is very soon, I’m sure you will see that Zamfara will be well represented.
“So, here’s the deal for me: we will devote a sizeable amount of resources to the senatorial districts, but you will have to do something in return. It’s a question of give and take.
“For a start, let’s have at least one year of peace, let’s not hear of killing for a year, let’s not hear of banditry for a year in Zamfara. After that one year, we renew our efforts.
“I want to believe we are here with men of good intentions and women of peace, that in the end, what has happened in Zamfara over the years, by the time we get into January, February it will be a thing of the past, do I have your word?” the Speaker said.
He noted that there was need for serious collaboration between the federal and state governments on the issue of insecurity so as to find lasting solutions.
According to him, the National Assembly would ensure the deployment of enough security men to cater for the citizens of Zamfara.
“So here’s a practical solution: it is time for government to employ thousands of police men and women to police our state. What do we achieve if we employ more policemen? We achieve peace; we achieve employment.
“How do we design the employment of policemen? Let them come from the districts, let them come from your local governments in Zamfara, let them go for training, and then we redeploy them back to Zamfara.”
He commended the state governor, Bello Matawalle, on his efforts since assumption of office in May, which saw appreciable level of peace returned to the state.
In his remarks, Governor Matawalle thanked the Speaker for visiting Zamfara to assess the situation on ground and find lasting solutions to the issues that led to the escalation of insecurity in the state.
The governor said the state government has taken drastic actions on the issue of insecurity, which have yielded positive results so far.
On the suspended Ruga settlement , the governor said, he has accepted the policy of the Federal Government and that arrangements have been concluded to set up three Ruga settlements in the three Senatorial Districts of the state.
While calling on the Speaker to ensure the release of the N10 billion approved for rehabilitation and resettlement in Zamfara State under the 2019 budget, the governor appealed to the 9th National Assembly to also come up with the Northwest Development Commission the way it did to the South South and Northeast.