The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Monday, said the 9th National Assembly will give special budgetary attention to the three senatorial districts of Zamfara State to address the security crisis in the state.
This, he said, would be made possible if the warring herdsmen in the state agreed to a one-year ceasefire.
Gbajabiamila said this during his visit to Zamfara State as part of efforts to reconcile the warring herdsmen factions in the state, according to a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Lanre Lasisi.
The Speaker said the National Assembly would do everything within its constitutional powers to bring development to the state through budgetary allocation.
Addressing the leaders of the warring factions at the Government House, Gusau, the state capital, Gbajabiamila said he was happy to be part of the historic reconciliation of the factions, whose activities held the state to ransom for about 16 years.
He said, “From what I understand, what the Federal Government needs to do is to develop these areas; some of these issues are borne out of poverty and frustration.
“I can assure you that the Federal Government, at least as far as the National Assembly is concerned, when it comes to budgeting of your 14 local governments, every senatorial district will be empowered; as far as schools are concerned, as far as skills acquisition centres are concerned, for our people to learn and acquire skills and be empowered to go out and win the daily bread to take care of their families.
“It is for us to develop your three senatorial districts together with your state government. You have capable hands in the National Assembly already. You have members that are from Zamfara who are representing you; they have already brought up the issues on the floor and when it comes to time for budgeting which is very soon, I’m sure you will see that Zamfara will be well represented.
“So, here’s the deal for me: We will devote a sizeable amount of resources to the senatorial districts but you will have to do something in return; it is a question of give and take. For a start, let’s have at least one year of peace; let’s not hear of killing for a year, let’s not hear of banditry for a year in Zamfara. After that one year, we will renew our efforts.
“I want to believe we are here with men of good intentions and women of peace, that in the end, what has happened in Zamfara over the years, by the time we get into January, February it will be a thing of the past, do I have your word?”
The Speaker stated that there was the need for serious collaboration between the federal and state governments on the issue of security.
Gbajabiamila also said the National Assembly would ensure the deployment of enough security men in the state to protect the people.
“So, here’s a practical solution; it is time for government to employ thousands of police men and women to police our state. What do we achieve if we employ more policemen? We achieve peace; we achieve employment. How do we design the employment of policemen? Let them come from the districts, let them come from your local governments in Zamfara, let them go for training, and then we redeploy them to Zamfara,” he said.