Zamfara suspends community protection guards’ commandant

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Zamfara State Government has suspended the Commandant of the state Community Protection Guards, Colonel Rabiu Garba (retd).

The suspension was contained in a statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Abubakar Nakwada, and made available to newsmen on Wednesday.

The statement read, “This is to inform the general public that Zamfara State Government has suspended the appointment of Colonel Rabiu Garba as state Commandant of the state Protection Guards.

“The suspension takes immediate effect.”

Although no reason was given for his suspension, According Online gathered that Garba recently granted an interview to a radio station where he accused the state government of poor funding of the Community Protection Guards.

In the live programme at the Vision FM Radio Gusau, on Monday, Garba said the state government has failed to give financial support to the Protection Guards since its creation in January this year.

He maintained that since its inauguration, the state government had not provided them with the takeoff grant.

Garba also said that officials of the protection guards were paid their salary only once since they were appointed four months ago.

He added that members of the Protection Guards have been battling with poor funding from the state government, a situation which he said has been crippling their activities in the fight against banditry.

He said, “We were paid our allowances only once since we assumed duty four months ago.”

He lamented that the state government has stopped fueling their patrol vehicles, as such, they were finding it extremely difficult to fight bandits.

He added, “Lack of funds and other logistics are responsible for our non-performance.

“You trained somebody, gave him a gun to fight criminals, then you refuse to pay him his monthly allowance, and you cannot fuel his vehicle. How do you expect him to perform?

“I swear to God that since the time I assumed office in January this year as the Commandant of the state CPG, I collected only N98, 000.

“Similarly, I have been buying fuel with my own money whenever we are going out for operation.

“This can never happen anywhere in the world.”

Garba blamed some people in the government for sabotaging the efforts of Governor Dauda Lawal in the fight against banditry.

He said, “I know that His Excellency, Governor Dauda Lawal, is very much committed to the fight against banditry but there are some people in his cabinet who are sabotaging his good efforts for their selfish reasons.

“I have tried to reach out to the governor to notify him of the situation we are facing, but he is not accessible.

“I contacted some prominent Islamic scholars in the state like Sheikh Ahmed Umar Kanoma and Sa,idu Maikwano, who I thought could talk to the governor on the issue, but unfortunately there is no development.”

Garba, therefore, warned that if the situation did not improve, members of the Community Protection Guards would have no alternative than to resign before the situation went out of control.

“We are ready to resign our appointments if we do not see any change,” he concluded.

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