The Federal Government says Zamfara has experienced worse killings and destruction than any state in the country in the last seven years.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the disclosure on Monday when he led a team of ministers on courtesy visit to Governor Abdulazeez Yari at the Government House, Gusau.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the ministers were in Gusau for a special town hall meeting on federal government measures to curb killings in the state.
The state has suffered seven years of incessant attacks by cattle rustlers, bandits and through clashes between farmers and herders.
The Ministers of Defense, Mansur Danali; Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Ministers of State, Environment, Usman Jibrin; Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed and Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar were on the entourage.
Mohammed said: “When we look at the issue of security in this country, no government has ever been challenged like this administration.
“It is to the credit of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration that we have been able to stem the tide.
“However, unknown to many, what we faced in Zamfara is worse than what we have experienced in Benue, Taraba, Plateau and Nasarawa states combined.
“But because of those who are imputing religious and ethnic reasons on an issue that is sometimes more of demography, environment and most times sheer criminality, the attention that ought to be put in Zamfara is not being put there.”
The minister said that the town hall meeting was at the instance of Danali, adding that resource persons and experts would identify the immediate and remote causes of the security breaches and proffer solutions.
Mohammed expressed satisfaction that the spate of the crises and killings had reduced drastically because of the proactive measures taken by federal and the state government.
The minister enjoined the media to complement the efforts of the federal government by placing priority attention to the successes recorded in dealing with the security challenges in Zamfara and across the country.
Corroborating the minister’s position, Governor Yari said at the town hall meeting that over 2,385 people had been killed by armed bandits in the state from 2011 to date.
He said that no fewer than 6,000 people had been injured, over 25,000 cattle rustled and more than 3,000 hectares of arable land destroyed during the period.
He added that over 600 shops and 336 vehicles were also destroyed while thousands of people were displaced from their towns and villages.
The governor said people had paid hundreds of million of Naira in ransom for the release of those kidnapped by the bandits.
Yari however said that with the formation of a reconciliation committee by the state government, over 3,000 assorted arms were recovered from some of the bandits.
The governor reiterated that the security challenges in the state and many parts of the country were “pure cases of criminality” without any religious or ethnic coloration.
He therefore appealed to governors of other affected states to see the crises in same light and stop imputing political and ethnic reasons to it.
Yari commended the Buhari Administration for the efforts and measures put in place to check insecurity in the state, adding that the crises had reduced considerably.
He recalled that in 2014 when over 230 people were killed by bandits in the state, the then government did not even send any delegation for condolence nor took special measures to curtail the killings.
The governor said that until the advent of the present administration it was only 14 military personnel that were in the state despite the spate of killings.
Yari said President Buhari was personally in the state to see things for himself and had deployed no fewer than 240 military and other security personnel to the state to curtail the crises.
He commended the efforts of security agencies especially the army, police, DSS and the civil defence corps deployed to the state to fight the menace.