Attahiru Ahmad, Emir of Anka in Zamfara state, says more than 100 miners operating between Anka and Maru LGAs in the state were abducted by bandits on March 2.
Ahmad, chairman of the state council of chiefs, disclosed this in Gusau, the Zamfara capital, on Tuesday when Lucky Irabor, chief of defence staff (CDS), led service chiefs on an assessment visit to the state.
According to NAN, the emir explained that the incident took place when the state was focused on the rescue of the 279 students abducted on February 26, from Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe.
The schoolgirls were released on March 2.
Ahmad also said the bandits killed 10 persons during an invasion of a mining site in Zamfara.
“The bandits have been attacking those involved in artisanal mining and carting away their money and property,” he said.
“There is a disconnect between miners and bandits in the state, so we were surprised when the declaration of ‘no fly zone’ was recently slammed on our state over suspected arms supply and illegal mining, when the state does not even have an airport.
“We know that there are states with more security challenges than Zamfara, and we expected that if such order would be issued, it should also cover such states.
“Our artisanal miners, who are licensed, have been very helpful to the state’s economic growth and they have played significant roles in ameliorating the hardship faced by IDPs in the state by supporting them.”
The traditional ruler requested the deployment of more security operatives to the state, and commended the peace initiative of the Zamfara government.
“The peace and dialogue initiative of our governor has become necessary because at the moment, we have less than 5,000 security men fighting over 30,000 bandits,” he said.
He, therefore, called for synergy among security operatives to ensure success in the fight against insecurity in Zamfara.
In his remarks, Irabor commended the traditional rulers for their efforts, and urged them to continue to support the military’s operations by engaging their subjects to provide credible information.
Earlier on Tuesday, Matawalle issued a two-month ultimatum to bandits to surrender to the state government.