By Adaeze Lawrence
Zamfara state Governor, Bello Muhammad Matawalle, has signed into Law, Bill for Zamfara State Prohibiting and Punishing Banditry, Rustling, Cultism, Kidnapping and other Incidental Offences 2022.
According to a statement released by the Governor’s Press Secretary, Jamilu Iliyasu Birnin Magaji, on Tuesday, “the purpose of the Law is to ensure that Zamfara State is protected from the crimes of banditry and other associated crimes listed in the bill as passed by Zamfara State House of Assembly.
Governor Bello Matawalle while assenting to the law said this was part of the series of his administration’s determined efforts to address the lagging challenges of banditry and associated crimes in the State.
The Governor explained that the new law provides that any person found guilty of banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling, cultism or being an informant to the bandits is liable to death penalty.
Similarly, the Governor said under the law, anyone found guilty of aiding and or abetting the crimes mentioned is liable to life imprisonment, twenty years imprisonment or ten years imprisonment without options of fine.
Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle maintained that the most fundamental focus of governance anywhere in the world is security, stressing that in this regard his administration is determined to go to any length within the precincts of the law in order to secure the state, restore peace in the communities and place the state on a sound and enduring development trajectory.
He said Zamfara State under his watch will continue to explore all possible remedies to the current plight of the people of the state.
Governor Matawalle called on those making insinuations about the decision to support the right of community members to self defence against ruthless attacks by bandits to take into consideration the scale of the problem facing the state, saying they should take into account the plight of the innocent people who are maimed, killed and kidnapped on a daily basis in various parts of the state.
The Governor also maintained that the establishment of Community Protection Guards (CPG) is no different from the establishment of the Civilian Joint Taskforce, JTF, done in Borno state and Amotekun in the southwest sub-regions.
The Governor, while commending the State House of Assembly for keeping up with their constitutional responsibility of making laws to secure the state, also thanked the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari for its consistent support and cooperation to Zamfara State to achieve the desired end to banditry in the state.
Earlier, Speaker of Zamfara State House of Assembly, Rt Honourable Nasiru Muazu Magarya while presenting the bill to the Governor, said the law would serve as a legal instrument for prosecuting banditry related offenders in the state.