The Zamfara State government stepped up its war on insecurity in the area as Governor Dauda Lawal on Wednesday formally unveiled the Community Protection Guards (CPG), designed to complement efforts of the regular security forces.
The ceremony at the Trade Fair complex in Gusau, the state capital, attracted the six other governors from the North-West of Jigawa, Kebbi, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Sokoto.
A statement by the Governor’s spokesperson, Sulaiman Bala Idris, noted thatn the government is utilising a multi-faceted and multi-dimensional approach to addressing security challenges in the state.
According to the statement, “last year, Governor Dauda Lawal approved the engagement of 5,200 guards across the 14 Local Government Areas.
“Today (Wednesday), 2,645 Community Protection Guards graduated in the first batch.
“In his remark at the graduation ceremony, Governor Dauda Lawal said his administration embarked on the arduous task with a commitment to gradual reforms across all sectors of state’s economy, to instil sanity and accelerate development.
“While we make these efforts, the lofty goals we set out to achieve will remain a mirage as long as the formidable challenge of insecurity remains unaddressed.
“This informed our decision to, among other things, establish the Community Protection Guards, known as Askarawa Zamfara.
“The steering committee for establishing the Community Protection Guards traversed the 14 Local Government Areas and screened eligible volunteers for enrolment into the outfit.
“We believe that the bulk of the challenges we face as a state and region are borne out of severe neglect in advancing public policy to serve the socio-economic expectations of our people.
“We will never take for granted the message of the people of our state through their votes in March 2023.
“Today, therefore, the first batch of the Community Protection Guards, 2,645, are graduating. “These young, energetic and vibrant personnel have undergone rigorous training, extensive drilling and an understanding of the rules of engagement, amongst other skills.
“These will assist them in the due discharge of their responsibility of partnering, assisting and working with the security agencies to defend our communities.”
The statement also quoted the Katsina State Governor, Dr. Dikko Radda, who is also chairman of the North-West Governors Forum, as re-affirming their joint decision not to engage in negotiations with bandits.
Radda said that, “we have gathered here today with a common purpose: to unite against banditry and insecurity in the North-West.
“Regardless of political affiliations, we are committed to never negotiating with bandits.
In his remarks, Chairman of the occasion, a former National Security Adviser, Gen. Aliyu Muhammad Gusau (rtd), praised the state government for establishing the CPG.