Gov. Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara has said that military action should be the last option to be taken against bandits.
Yari made the remark during the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Gusau Air Force Base by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali on Friday.
The governor lamented the activities of armed bandits and cattle rustlers in the state in the last three years.
However, he said, a community dialogue instituted by his administration had yielded positive results as thousands of bandits were now repenting and surrendering their arms.
He said that since a truce was being arrived at, “the military should only come in as the last option when all moves on dialogue fail’’.
Yari, who commended the Federal Government for deploying both land and air military brigades to the state to contain the activities of the bandits, also said that normalcy was fast returning to the state.
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, said the establishment of Air Force and an Army Brigades in Gusau was in fulfillment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign promise of war against terrorism and the provision of adequate security to all Nigerians.
Dan-Ali, who cautioned the army and Air force personnel that would be posted to the two brigades against brutalising civilians, also charged them against compromising their professional undertaking.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, said the 207 Quick Response Group, Gusau, was one of the nine units under the Air Force Special Operations Command with headquarters in Bauchi.
Sadiq said it was specifically set up by the Federal Government to counter all forms of insurgency and assist in search and rescue mission.
He said the other units which were located in Ijesha, Jos, Owerri, Katsina and Yola would deliver timely and efficient response to ethno-religious tension, terrorism, cattle rustling and armed banditry, among others, and easily neutralise them.
The new Air Force base is expected to be completed within six months.