– Say N’west people suffered enough for banditry activities.
The Northern Elements Group, known as AREWA Development Forum for Peace and Justice has risen from an urgent meeting in Kaduna with resolution to support the idea of Zamfara state governor, Bello Mohammed Mutawalle on giving permission to citizens to acquire and use weapons for protection against invading bandits in their communities.
The group faulted negative reaction over the suggestion of Zamfara state governor and bemoans at hurriedly comments of discouraging by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor and other elites who are economical with true of happening on the recent kidnapping, killings and attacks of the communities in N’west region and evirons by suspected bandits.
A few days ago, terrorists invaded a mining site in Shiroro local government area of Niger state killing about 17 security agents including soldiers, police and local vigilantes, and abducting four Chinese expatriates. This was coming a few days after reports of alleged attacks and kidnap of many people in some villages in Kaduna, Kebbi, Niger, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto states unabated.
This multifaceted crime against the Nigerian state and Nigerians has continued to thrive without any serious strategies in place to end the challenge by the security operatives, but, instead, we are awash with news from some higher-ranking officers in the security echelons and elites that they are not in support of public bearing arms for protection.
To us, these groups of Nigerians are openly frustrating the efforts by the government of Zamfara state towards empowering communities to acquire and carry arms legally to protect themselves against the rampaging invading terrorists that have made peace impossible in their ancestral homes.
Just on Thursday, June 30, at the funeral prayers for a slain Priest in Kaduna, the Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna Diocese, Most Rev Mattew Man-Oso Ndagoso openly supported the decision of Governor Bello Mutawalle of empowering and allowing citizens to carry arms legally to protect themselves against the incessant killings by the ravaging criminals.
The Catholic leader also referenced Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State who had earlier suggested the same thing as the only way to complement what the military and police are doing in the fight against terrorists in the region.
For those saying it’s not right and disastrous if citizens are allowed to protect themselves in self-defence against these bandits, then who is supporting or licensing those invading bandits to continue maiming and killing our people by using AK-47 and other dangerous weapons in our region?
Our leaders must act now or we continue to becoming target of elimination by certain minority marauders going about with weapons against majority.
Many people around Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Sokoto states who are victims of such carnages have endorsed the decisions by praising the Zamfara state government for the foresight and action taken to reduce and completely checkmate bandits’ movement, fight them and stop their carnages.
Going by the example of how Southwestern states have brought down the alleged criminal animal rearers’ attacks on their communities by about 75 per cent as a result of their vigilante outfit group known as AMOTEKUN in collaboration with community patrol volunteers is open to all. They bear arms and move around with an ale of confidence and fight against insecurity in their areas.
From Zurmi to Tsafe, from Bakura to Maru to Shinkafi, these bandits have continued with their deadly and dastardly attacks against innocent people because security agencies are overwhelmed with inadequate manpower, precision equipment and logistics facilities to nip the nefarious activities of these blood-thirsty terrorists, insurgents and bandits in the bud.
In this case, Governor Mutawalle is the man wearing the shoe and knows where it pains, hence, our call on all meaning Nigeria to support his call on locals to legally acquire arms to protect and defend their communities against any form of criminal invasion.
Therefore, we are supporting any leader that seem to have agree and make a clear and acceptable decision within the armbit of law to bring lasting peace and security to lives and properties of citizens.
Nothing is more important than a leader in playing his role of saving lives and properties of his people than attending funerals or making a sympathy visit and lamentations after attacks.
Proactive measures that includes supporting military & Police operations, provision of logistics and giving communities rights of self-defence is more important and best options for bringing a lasting and assured peace, cohesion and security to people in the dire situation like now.
Hon Zubairu Abdullahi
Danmasanin Birnin Gwari