From Ibrahim Sidi Muh’d, Gusau
Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle of Zamfara State has appealed to the Federal Government to release the N10 billion naira Special Intervention Funds (SIF) been promised earlier as support for the teeming victims of armed banditry and flood disasters in the State.
Matawalle, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Bala Bello Maru, made the appeal on Monday during a special town hall meeting on the State of the Nation which was organised by the federal government in Gusau Zamfara State Capital.
Bala Maru, said Zamfara State is one of the front line states in the northern part of the country with cases of banditry, kidnappings, cattle rustling and flood disasters upon which many people were rendered homeless, hence the need for the federal government to Release the N10 billion special intervention funds for immediate resettlement and assistance to the victims in order to cushion their hardships.
He also called on the federal government to construct the Dansadau/ Birnin-Gwari/ Minna federal road cutting through Zamfara, Kaduna and Niger States as part of measures to abstract the advantage used by armed bandits.
Governor Matawalle further reiterated his administration’s resolve in using the stick and carrot approach to ensure the sustenance of peace and tranquility in all parts of the state.
He also called for the immediate establishment of synergy between the State Government and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development for the formation of a joint committee that will be sharing support and assistance to the masses so that everyone will be covered.
He informed that Zamfara State has not experienced #EndSARS protest and or any other violence in all parts of the state, pointing out that the palliatives given to the state by the federal government had been distributed to the deserving beneficiaries in the State.
Earlier, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouk, said a total of 282,529 pupils are currently being fed under the National Home Grown School Feeding Programme in Zamfara state by her ministry.
Hajiya Sadiya, said the scheme was being carried out in 1,759 schools cutting across all the 14 local government areas of the state and which facilitated the provision of employment to 2000 cooks all indigenous of the State.
Hajiya Farouk noted that the COVID-19 Pandemic lockdown, ongoing activities of armed bandits and the flooding experienced in the north west region of the country had led to the displacement of over 247,000 persons in Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna and Niger States.
She said the town hall meeting was significant as it will allow people of the state to collectively communicate, identify, articulate and derive solutions to humanitarian and developmental challenges that have arisen in Zamfara state from banditry, extreme weather conditions and the COVID-19 Pandemic.
While commending Zamfara State government steps in addressing the challenges of economic vulnerability, the minister, said her ministry will continue to partner with the State Government to ensure implementation of humanitarian, social inclusion and protection measures in the State.