The senator representing Zamfara Central, Kabiru Marafa, has said activities of bandits in Zamfara State have left about 44,000 children orphaned in the last nine years.
Marafa, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), said this in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja on Sunday.
He thanked his colleagues in the two chambers of the National Assembly for the provision of N10bn in the 2019 budget to address the deteriorating humanitarian crises in the state.
The National Assembly, while passing the 2019 budget, had made a provision of N10bn for the creation of an intervention fund to be called the Presidential Initiative on Zamfara State to cater for the humanitarian disaster in state.
The move followed the adoption of a motion moved by Marafa.
The senator said his colleagues’ support for the initiative showed that with unity of purpose and direction, the country could overcome its challenges.
He said the “unfortunate and dark eight years of banditry from 2011 to date in Zamfara has conservatively led to the killing of over 11,000 male adults, leaving behind an estimated average of 22,000 widows – at two wives per person – and an estimated 44,000 orphans at an average of four children per deceased.”
Marafa said in terms of casualty ratio and displacements, Zamfara remained ahead of other states in the North-East and North-Central that are currently being given prominence by the mainstream media and the Federal Government in terms of recognition and assistance.
The senator said the N10bn would help in resettling the Internally Displaced Persons and others affected by activities of the bandits.
With the provision of the N10bn by the National Assembly, Marafa urged the Federal Government to set up an ad hoc committee to be known as Presidential Initiatives on Zamfara State with a 10-year lifespan.
He called on the incoming National Assembly members from Zamfara State to maintain the tempo by ensuring that PIZAMS gets a sizable allocation in the remaining nine years ahead.