With the official unveiling of the Community Protection Guards (CPG) yesterday by Governor Dauda Lawal, the Zamfara State Government intensified its campaign against insecurity in the region. The CPG is intended to supplement the efforts of the regular security forces. The Nigerian Tribune reports that the six other governors from the North-West, namely Jigawa, Kebbi, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, and Sokoto, attended the ceremony held at the Trade Fair complex in Gusau, the state capital.
Sulaiman Bala Idris, the governor’s spokesperson, stated in a statement that the state’s security issues are being addressed by the government using a multifaceted and multidimensional strategy. “Last year, Governor Dauda Lawal approved the engagement of 5,200 guards across the 14 Local Government Areas,” the statement claims. 2,645 Community Protection Guards from the first batch graduated today, Wednesday.
“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 the state’s economy, to instill 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 enrollment into the outfit.
“We believe that the bulk of the challenges we face as a state and region are born 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, is 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 reaffirming 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 (retired), praised the state government for establishing the CPG.