By Bashir Bello
KATSINA – Worried by the waves of insecurity in the northern region, the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG has on Monday told Governors in the region to demand thorough overhauling of the security chiefs and others to end tackle issue of insecurity in the area.
The Coalition’s National Coordinator, Comrade Balarabe Rufai made the call when the group visited Governor Aminu Bello Masari at the Katsina Government house to commend him for keeping to his promise of ensuring the safe return of the abducted Kankara schoolboys within the shortest time, a pledge that persuaded the coalition to shelved it planned street protests.
Rufai also called on the Governors to collectively dwell heavily on themselves and the federal government, irrespective of the technicalities surrounding the Exclusive List veneer in the Constitution, to see that the security architecture is reframed and reorganized in ways that will bring an end to the incessant banditry, insurgency, kidnapping and other vices that are dragging the region into the socio-economic abyss.
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He said this must include a thorough review and interrogation of the commercialization of these conflicts by different actors, up and down the ranks and constituencies, defence corruption as well as the growing attitude of touting success in the face of failure.
Rufai further told the Governors to move to compel the Federal Government to take immediate steps to disband all militias and armed groups to ensure that no group has the capacity to challenge the State in its prerogative to maintain law and order and protect citizens’ lives and properties.
The CNG’s in his text said, “Northern Governors should acknowledge the degree of anger and frustration among their communities, and work to form a synergy for uniform action for confronting the prevailing situation and placing future safeguards.
“They should collectively dwell heavily on themselves and the federal government, irrespective of the technicalities surrounding the Exclusive List veneer in the Constitution, to see that our security architecture is reframed and reorganized in ways that will bring an end to the incessant banditry, insurgency, kidnapping and other vices that are dragging the region into the socio-economic abyss.
“This must include a thorough review and interrogation of the commercialization of these conflicts by different actors, up and down the ranks and constituencies, defence corruption as well as the growing attitude of touting success in the face of failure.
“The Governors must demand a thorough overhaul of the leadership of our security and public safety agencies, and the injection of higher levels of competence, integrity, and accountability in the manner our troops and the police and security agencies deal with security challenges.
“State governments in the North must deal decisively with the threat of drug and substance abuse that is creating a class of aimless and dehumanized individuals who will forever remain a burden on society.
“Northern Governors should move to compel the Federal Government to take immediate steps to disband all militias and armed groups to ensure that no group has the capacity to challenge the State in its prerogative to maintain law and order, and protect citizens’ lives and properties.
“Governors should take further steps to ensure that both farmers and herdsmen are given adequate protection by state agencies.
“The Federal and State governments must immediately identify suitable lands across the North and create grazing reserves and cattle routes while making sufficient allowance for farmers through resort to extant provisions of the Land Use Act and other related laws.
“On Long term, we recommend the proclamation of a National Policy on Agriculture and Livestock Development (NPGLD) to cater to the needs of all the pastoral and farming communities.
“We recommend the establishment of a National Pastoralist Commission (NPC) to act on all matters affecting the wellbeing and interests of all citizens whose livelihoods depend on livestock rearing and farming.
“These recommendations are justifiable seeing that successive governments have found it expeditious to establish structures like OMPADEC, NDDC, Ministry of Niger Delta, the Amnesty Programme, etc aimed at resolving a specific set of challenges affecting specific communities in the South.
There will, therefore, be no justification whatsoever, to resist or even question the creation of special initiatives to address the needs of herdsmen if these will lead to lasting peace and stability.”
Rufai continued when he said, “However, as we rejoice, we must also see this moment as another testament to the serious, and indeed, the critical dimension that the general and pervasive insecurity has taken in Nigeria, more especially in the North of the country.
At the risk of overstating the case, we can unhesitatingly assert that the daring theft of more than 300 children and subsequent unhindered movement to a location several hundred kilometers away, represents the height of the most serious social and security challenges facing the North today.
“And the fact that less than 24 hours after securing the release of the Kankara students, other incidences of serious security breaches were reported in many parts of the North, is the more reason why it should be seen as an existential matter that needs to be addressed and tackled robustly and defeated once for all. These incidences include the kidnap of the Acting Eje Of Ankpa, Alhaji Shuaibu Usman, attack on the convoy of the Emir of Kaura Namoda, Alhaji Sanusi Muhammad Asha on the short stretch between Zaria and Funtua, and the foiled abduction of about 80 Islamiyya students at Dandume.
“It gives no one any pleasure, therefore, to think that to celebrate at this point, would amount to celebrating too early and treating a dangerous security situation with levity and condescension.
No society will aspire to prosper where its people are prohibited from accessing their sources of livelihood, denied right to on safety major highways and roads, or the education of their children is threatened by marauding bandits,” Rufai however stated.
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