Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara, says his administration will no longer grant amnesty to bandits.
In February, the governor had said dialogue remains the best option to tackle banditry in the country.
Speaking after attending the Juma’at prayer on Friday, Matawalle said amnesty offered to bandits no longer stands as many of them had failed to embrace peace.
“My administration will no longer grant amnesty to bandits as they have failed to embrace the peace initiative earlier extended to them,” he said.
“Politicians should fear God and stop buying motorcycles to distribute to people who, in turn, sell to bandits to perpetuate their evil acts.’’
The governor also said the recent raids by security agencies against bandits had prompted them to seek dialogue with the government, but added that his administration is committed to ensuring peace in the state.
“They sent committee to us, begging that we suspend the ban on transportation of food items and allow them to supply, but I refused,” he said.
“We have ensured that whatever God has directed us to do, we did. So, what we are doing now is to leave them to answer to God. What we are doing now is to fight with them day and night and we are together with you.
“By the grace of God, whatever you see, it is you (residents) that will help the government. Like yesterday, we sent security operatives and got the report that most of the bandits are escaping to other regions because of the suffering they are undergoing here in Zamfara.
“Residents of Zamfara should cooperate with the government and stop transporting food items, firewood, petrol, motorcycles. Those used by the bandits for their operations and politicians who are distributing motorcycles to the bandits should stop. They should fear God and desist from the act.”
In another development, Ayuba Elkanah, police commissioner in Zamfara, has suspended the movement of motorcycles with clutches in 13 LGAs in the state.
The commissioner said the command received intelligence report that “unscrupulous elements” use such motorcycles and other cars to supply petroleum products and food items to bandits.
“Riding of motorcycles that have clutches have been banned in the 13 local government areas of the state, in addition to the earlier enforcement of restrictions on motorcycles and tricycles in Gusau local government area,” he said.
“Gusau area, Damba and Mada are equally affected by the ban on riding motorcycles with clutches.”
Elkanah asked residents to collaborate with security agencies in ensuring that peace is restored in the state.
Zamfara has seen an increase in activities of bandits and kidnappers in recent times.
This has prompted the Zamfara government to put some measures in place, including suspending the transportation of livestock beyond the state’s borders.
The governor had also ordered the closure of weekly markets across the state, while transportation of food items is subject to verification.