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Fed Govt sign deal with Niger over insecurity

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The governors of the states of Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara jointly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the governor of the Maradi region in the Republic of Niger on the best approaches to address security challenges in their states.

This was contained in a statement released by Yusuf Idris, general manager of press affairs to the governor of Zamfara and made available to journalists on Sunday in Gusau.

He said the meeting was convened at the request of the governor of the Maradi region, Mallam Zakari Oumoru.

Idris added that the meeting was attended by governors Bello Matawalle Aminu Masari and Aminu Tambuwal, respectively from the states of Zamfara, Katsina and Sokoto.

He said the meeting, which was held at Government House, Maradi, focused on transnational crimes, in particular brigandage, abduction and theft of cattle in the four states that share common borders.

Idris said that the participating States agreed to maintain a good neighborhood and cooperation between them, while jointly addressing the issue of security.

He said the memorandum of understanding agreed to maintain the renewed efforts of the three Nigerian states and Maradis of the Republic of Niger to curb the threat of armed banditry within its borders.

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Other areas covered by the Memorandum of Understanding included his determination to participate in the fight against banditry, cattle theft, kidnapping and armed robbery within the affected borders in order to have peaceful states.

In his speech at the meeting, Governor Matawalle described peace, dialogue and reconciliation as necessary tools to curb the situation of insecurity in the four states.

He explained that his administration had adopted a dialogue with the bandits after extensive consultations and then established contacts with men from the underworld, who had led to a joint meeting with all the groups.

The governor also said that the peace process has produced positive results, since peace has returned to the state.

The Nigerian news agency (NAN) has gathered that the heads of the security agencies, including the army, the police, the Nigerian security and civil security corps (NSCDC) and the State Security Directorate (DSS) in the participating States were present at the meeting.