​Peace Deal with Bandits: Northwest Stakeholders Fault Zamfara Governor

Following former President Abdulsalami’s revelation that over 6million arms are in circulation among civilians and non state actors across Nigeria, a cross-section of Concerned Stakeholders drawn from the North
West Geo Political Zone, have raised an alarm over Governor of Zamfara State’s peace deal with bandits.

The Stakeholders at a World Press Conference in Kaduna on Thursday, led by Malam Suleiman Yusuf, wondered how the governor could go into a deal with armed and criminal bandits, who have been committing heinous crimes of murder, rape, plunder, kidnapping and robbery over the years.

They question the intention of the governor to act in that manner thereby creating a safe haven for crime to thrive, adding “we demand justice for the victims, and criticised the blanket amnesty enjoyed by criminals who should be investigated and prosecuted.

“Under Governor Matawalle’s Peace deal, bandits have found safe haven in Zamfara State from where they plan attacks in other states.

“We observed gaps in Governor Matawalle’s Peace deal with the bandits and demanded that the Governor should make public a Comprehensive Report on the legal and administrative process, Terms and Conditions, list of beneficiaries, and the financial implication of the Peace Deal per person This, according to the stakeholders, would lead to transparency and accountability from which lessons can be drawn.”

They called on the governor to as matter of urgency work closely with Law Enforcement, Security and Intelligence agencies to ensure that Mr. President’s decisions are fully implemented towards the success of the Internal Security Operations against banditry.

“Taking a closer look at the security situation in the North West, the Stakeholders called for a Uniform Strategy in the North West Zone to ensure that criminals who commit crimes in one State do not run from justice through a peace deal in another State.

“Emphasising the need for a criminal justice approach, stakeholders called for the strengthening of investigation, criminal profiling, information sharing, prosecution and the restoration of basic governance to address banditry.

“The Stakeholders appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent restructuring of the nation’s security architecture, the shoot at-sight order on unlawful bearing of AK 47, the banning of illegal mining and imposition of No Fly Zone in Zamfara State. 

“With these strategic decisions, the Stakeholders insisted that Nigeria’s national security interests supersedes the interest of any politician or political group and will not stand by and watch any politician politicise efforts geared towards dealing with insecurity.’ Mallam Suleman added.

The stakeholders called on all Nigerians to support the Armed Forces, the Nigerian Police and other security agencies who sacrifice so that we may be secured. 

They added “we condemned the attacks on security agents in the South East and call on Nigerians from the region to condemn these attacks and work with security agencies to curtail them. 

“As Nigeria moves gradually towards elections in year 2023, politicians were also warned to desist from politicising security threats, warning that doing so only serves as a distraction to the challenging work that security officers are expected to accomplish.”

How to end insurgency, banditry—El Rufai

Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna state has advised security forces to collaborate and take the war to the terrorists so as to recover the un-governed forests that they occupy.

The governor further said that ‘’the situation in which the security agencies mostly only react to cases of banditry and abduction is unacceptable.’’

‘’We are in a war with these terrorists who are challenging the sovereignty and monopoly of the instruments of coercion of the Nigerian state and its territory.

El Rufai made this known in his welcome remarks at the Federal Government Townhall Meeting on National Security which held at Kaduna on Thursday.

He argued that taking the battle to the terrorists ‘’will not only cripple the outlaws, but will also reassure ordinary citizens, bolster the morale of the security agencies and provide an alternative focus for the energies that are being dissipated on fractious endeavours.’’

‘’There is no other way to approach the current insurgency situation today as far as governmental action is concerned,’’ he argued.

‘’These bandits have lost their right to life under our Constitution and must be wiped out in their entirety. There is no other way to approach the current insurgency situation today as far as governmental action is concerned,’’ he added.

El Rufai lamented that the national level security response to challenges of terrorists has been uncoordinated and ineffective.

According to him, ‘’none of the military services nor other security agencies has been suitably expanded in numbers and equipment for over a decade since the insurgency in the North-East pushed things to a new low. ‘’

‘’This country does not have enough soldiers, uniformed police and secret police to project state power across its vast swathes, particularly the forests.

‘’The limited number of boots on the ground are not well equipped and are significantly lacking in the technology that can make their limited numbers matter a lot less,’’ he pointed out.

The governor expressed hope that the Town Hall meeting ‘’will promote the engagements and consensus necessary for effective collective action to secure our country and its people.’’

According to him, a more secure country ‘’enable our law-abiding citizens to engage in their legitimate pursuits, including farming and livestock production, without fear.’’

How I’ll change the narrative in policing Nigeria – IGP Baba

The Acting Inspector General of Police IGP, Mr Usman Baba has disclosed how he will change the narrative in policing Nigeria against threats of insecurity.

Baba, speaking at the taking over ceremony from outgone IGP Muhammad Adamu, also promised to provide professional and responsible leadership for the Police on Wednesday.

“I am inspired by the fact that, from my extensive years in service, I can confidently say that Nigeria police is endowed with some of the finest, courageous and patriotic officers.

“I am also encouraged by the fact that the outgoing I-G  laid a solid foundation and entrenched a culture of professionalism and efficiency in the force.

“This will stimulate me in my capacity as the I-G to strengthen our strategies and provide requisite leadership that will change the narrative in relation to our operational approach to the current security threats,” Baba said.

According to him, he was mindful of the yearnings of Nigerians for a policing system that would not only assure them of their safety, but also police them with civility.

“My leadership of the Police force will provide the highest level of professional and responsible leadership in the Nigeria Police to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.

“My appointment as the acting IGP is a call to national duty, particularly at a critical time that Nigeria is  experiencing increasing complex and pervasive security threats occasioned by terrorism, banditry, kidnapping secessionist agitation and other highly organised crimes.

“I therefore appeal on citizens to change their mindset and be prepared to work with the force in the interest of community safety and national security,” Baba further said.

According to him, much as the challenge to provide leadership in the force to address these threats may appear daunting, I am inspired by the courageous and patriotic officers in the force.

He said he had no doubt that the officers would assist to advance the internal security programme of the Federal government to restore security and return the country to the path of unity and development.

“As Adamu exits the force, I call on you all to join me in celebrating one of the greatest policing icons of our time.
“I want you to put on record our immense appreciation of his laudable contributions to the Nigeria Police Force,” he said.