FOLLOWING the death of Kabiru Ismail, a top government official in Zamfara State, during last Sunday kidnap, Governor Bello Matawalle says he is meeting with his counterpart in Kaduna, Governor Nasir El-Rufai to ensure the safety of commuters across the states.
Matawalle disclosed this while reacting to the kidnap, which also involved abduction of the Director of Budget, Alh Hamza Salihu alongside a female passenger, who was reportedly shot at the leg and left in the pool of her blood at the crime scene.
Ismail, until his death was the Zamfara State Deputy Director in charge of budgets.
The officials were reportedly kidnapped near Kachia in Kaduna State while on their way to Akwanga, Nasarawa State on official function.
Yusuf Idris, Director-General of Press Affairs to the Zamfara State governor, in a statement in Gusau, confirmed the incident, stressing the governor’s resolve to address security officials in the state, with a view to apprehending the perpetrators and ensuring the release of the abducted.
“It is very unfortunate that while efforts are being strengthened to stop armed banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling, and other crimes peacefully without any bloodshed, some bad elements who have chosen to remain unrepentant will still use security uniforms to stop and kidnap unsuspecting law-abiding citizens.”
There have been several reports of attacks, killings, banditry, and kidnapping in Zamfara in recent time.
In early March, about 113 people were reportedly killed in one week.
On 2nd June, the governor said the state might consider implementing death penalty law for armed banditry informants, after agitations from local vigilante groups for a death penalty for the bandits in the state.
The next day, Matawalle’s convoy was attacked along Lilo community, on the outskirts of Gusau while on his way to sympathise with victims of the previous attacks.
Thirteen days after, the governor met with security experts in Dubai to help address the insecurity situation in the state, yet cases of kidnapping, banditry, and cattle rustling have not ceased.
Data from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) shows that between May 2015 to July 2019, 2,317 people have been killed only in Zamfara State. The data which captures the death incidents nationwide also revealed that 28, 637 casualties have been recorded in the country from May 2011 to date.
Meanwhile, the governor has expressed grief in the death of Ismail who lost his life in the hands of the kidnappers. He has condoled with the family of the deceased.