The Senator representing Zamfara Central, Kabiru Marafa, said he rallied his colleagues to approve N10 billion in the 2019 budget for his state because of the level of devastation that the people there have suffered from for several years due to banditry.
Marafa, who chairs the Senate Committee on Petroleum (downstream), thanked his colleagues in both chambers of the National Assembly for the provision of the amount, tagged as special intervention fund to re-building Zamfara State.
The lawmaker had on April 10 sponsored a motion on the matter in which he decried the continuous banditry in Zamfara State, which he said led to difficulty in the lives of the people and displaced thousands.
In a statement he personally signed on Sunday, the Zamfara senator said the overwhelming support by his colleagues at both chambers 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 2 wives/person) and an estimated 44,000 orphans (at an average of 4 children/deceased).
He said in terms of casualty ratio and displacements, Zamfara State remains ahead of many states in the Northeast 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 IDPs and other persons affected by the activities of the armed banditry, to cater for their general well being, provision of shelter, water, basic education, basic health care (especially for the wounded, children and rape victims) and others.
With the provision of the N10bn by the National Assembly, Marafa urged the Federal Government to set up an Adhoc Committee to be known as Presidential Initiatives on Zamfara State (PIZAMS), with a 10-year life span.
He called on the incoming National Assembly members from Zamfara State to maintain the tempo by ensuring that PIZAMS get a sizable allocation in the remaining nine years ahead.
He pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently set up PIZAMS as contained in the Senate resolution.