April 20, 2024 5:37 am
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Senator Yerima Reveals Shocking Root Causes of Bandits’ Actions: Poverty and Ignorance

A former Governor of Zamfara State, Ahmad Sani Yerima, has asserted that those involved in acts of banditry are doing so because of poverty as well as ignorance. This is coming off his earlier remarks asking the Federal Government to engage in negotiations with bandits as a way of eradicating the abduction, killings and incursions plaguing parts of the North.

In an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, Senator Yerima emphasized that proper education could have deterred individuals from engaging in such nefarious activities. He stated, “No educated person, Christian, Muslim, Jew, or Hindu who is in his right state of mind and has something to do, will have a poverty problem that will drive them to take up arms and kill an innocent person.” He believes that poverty and ignorance are the major factors contributing to the growing cases of banditry.

Yerima also argued that previous governments had failed to address the plight of the bandits. He stated, “In the past, various state governments have not taken care of them, and the cattle routes and forest reserves left for them have been taken over by farmers.”

Nothing To Do With Gold Mining

Senator Yerima swiftly dismissed speculations that the presence of natural resources, such as gold, played a significant role in the rise of banditry in Zamfara State. He clarified, “This has always been there, and the illegal mining that is going on there is of a very small scale; artisan mining. We don’t have any industry or any large-scale or medium-scale mining going on in the state. People are just talking about it, but we have solid minerals in the Northern part of Nigeria, but that is not the cause at all.” He added that the previous administration had banned all forms of mining in Nigeria because they were illegal.

In response to his successor Bello Matawalle’s claim that bandits were involved in the commerce of gold for firearms and ammunition, Yerima expressed surprise and said, “I think he just said it.” He also dismissed rumors of foreign corporations being involved in the illegal gold trade in the country, describing them as “speculations.”

When asked about his possible involvement in the trade or turning a blind eye to it, the Senator assured, “I assure you that nothing is going on as far as large-scale mining in Zamfara state. We have artisan mining; in fact, it is villagers who are going into it. But for proper mining, it is capital intensive.”

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