Amid  ban on mobile telecommunications in the state

Amid terror situation and ban on mobile telecommunications in Zamfara state, Governor Matawalle jets to US as wife delivers baby abroad – report

Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State has left the country for the United States of America, after vowing that he would limit his movements and share in the ban on mobile telecommunications in the state.

The governor had also said the ban would remain until the bandits terrorising the state were dealt with.

A source told SaharaReporters on Monday that the governor last week sent his wife to the United States where she was delivered of a baby girl.

SaharaReporters gathered that Governor Matawalle left for the US with other members of his family to meet the wife and the new born baby.

The baby is expected to be named during their trip.

“They are expected back in the country on Sunday, September 26,” the source told SaharaReporters.

Speaking to SaharaReporters, a government official confirmed the governor travelled to the US.

He, however, said he left the country as part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s entourage to the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA76).

Deadly attacks have raged across Zamfara State where bandits have thrived.

Farming and herding communities in the state have long been terrorised by gangs who raid villages, stealing cattle and kidnap residents for ransom.

In 2019, the state government entered a peace agreement with the gunmen.

About 15 brand new Hilux vehicles and cash gifts were also given to leaders of different ‘repentant’ gangs of bandits by the governor in 2020.

But despite all these, communities in the state are still being attacked and residents kidnapped and/or killed.

To curtail the banditry, the government about two weeks ago placed ban on mobile telecommunications network.

There are also restrictions of movement in some parts of the state even as markets, banks and other commercial places have been shut.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directed mobile telecommunications network providers to shut down their networks in Zamfara State for two weeks as part of measures to tackle the activities of bandits.

Sources told SaharaReporters that people in the state now travel to Sokoto and Funtua in Katsina State to make calls, send messages and do financial transactions.

The ban was expected to expire on Friday, September 17. But speaking via BBC Hausa Service, Matawalle said it will continue indefinitely.

This article originally appeared in Sahara Reporters

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