House of Representatives Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has said that the 9th National Assembly would give special budgetary attention to the three senatorial districts in Zamfara State to resolve its insecurity issue.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Lanre Lasisi, said the Speaker made the promise during his visit to the state as part of efforts to reconcile warring herdsmen.
Gbajabiamila said the National Assembly would do everything within its constitutional powers to bring development to the state through allocation of resources in the budget.
Addressing leaders of the warring factions in Government House, Gusau, the state capital, the Speaker said he was happy to be part of the historic reconciliation between the factions, whose activities held the state to ransom for about 16 years.
Gbajabiamila said: “From what I understand, what the Federal Government needs to do is to develop these areas; some of these issues are born out of poverty and frustration.
“I can assure you that the Federal Government, at least as far as the National Assembly is concerned, when it comes to budgeting of your 14 local governments, every senatorial district will be empowered as far as schools are concerned, as far as skills acquisition centres are concerned, for our people to learn and acquire skills and be empowered to go out and win the daily bread to take care of their families.
“It is for us to develop your three senatorial districts together with your State Government. You have capable hands from the National Assembly already. You have members that are from Zamfara, who are representing you; they have already brought up the issues on the floor and when it comes to time for budgeting, which is very soon, I’m sure you will see that Zamfara will be well represented.
“So, here’s the deal for me: we will devote a sizeable amount of resources to the senatorial districts, but you will have to do something in return. It’s a question of give and take.
“For a start, let’s have at least one year of peace, let’s not hear of killing for a year, let’s not hear of banditry for a year in Zamfara. After that one year, we renew our efforts.
“I want to believe we are here with men of good intentions and women of peace, that in the end, what has happened in Zamfara over the years, by the time we get into January and February, it will be a thing of the past; do I have your word?”
The Speaker said there was a need for serious collaboration between the Federal and state governments on the issue of insecurity so as to find lasting solutions.
Gbajabiamila also said that the National Assembly would ensure the deployment of enough security men to cater to the citizens of Zamfara.
The governor called on the Speaker to ensure the release of the N10 billion approved for rehabilitation and resettlement in Zamfara State under the 2019 budget.
He also appealed to the 9th National Assembly to also come up with the Northwest Development Commission the way it did to the Southsouth and Northeast.