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Ex-Zamfara guber candidate gives reason for incessant banditry in Northwest

Shinkafi noted that the region possesses vast reserves of solid minerals such as gold, copper, rhodium, gemstones, kaolin, barites, and lithium but, no political commitment has been made to developing these mineral resources since oil was discovered.

Members of the Yansakai vigilante group sit inside an auditorium at the Zamfara State Government house as their members surrendered more than 500 guns. [Getty Images]

He urged them to focus less on organising peace and security summits, both domestically and internationally, which he believes are a waste of energy and resources.

Shinkafi emphasised that addressing the region's challenges requires political determination and practical measures, rather than the empty promises of the past 12 years.

Highlighting the North West's significant land area and its 30 percent share of Nigeria's population, Shinkafi pointed out that the region has the highest number of registered voters and has produced three democratically elected presidents—Shehu Shagari, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and Muhammadu Buhari—as well as three military heads of state: Murtala Mohammed, Muhammadu Buhari, and Sani Abacha.

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“North West had the highest number of Inspector Generals of Police.

“Yet the region is grossly undeveloped and lags behind in education. The zone has the largest number of out of school children and the highest number of Almajiris, poorly equipped schools, hospitals, bad roads etc.

“The zone is neglected by past and present leaders. Agriculture which is the mainstream of the region is neglected in spite of abundant, fruitful land mass," he said.

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He highlighted a lack of government determination to pursue extensive agriculture as a problem. Specifically, state governors in the area show little interest in supporting commercial farming and livestock growth.

Shinkafi noted that the region possesses vast reserves of solid minerals such as gold, copper, rhodium, gemstones, kaolin, barites, and lithium but, no political commitment has been made to developing these mineral resources since oil was discovered.

“The remote causes of insecurity in the zone include corruption, poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, poor governance, weak judicial system, weak security apparatus, porous borders, drug abuse, weak traditional institutions, influx of illegal Fulani aliens through land borders and proliferation of small and lighter arms and ammunition by unauthorised persons," he added.

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