North West Still Groaning Under Terrorism  

North West Still Groaning Under Terrorism  

Nigeria’s North West, States of Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Kebbi and Sokoto states has over some years remained a theatre of the absurd as uncountable lives, several million worth of properties and economic life stay have been wasted in an unending orgy of violence.

Initially, the situation earned an unenviable tag of banditry before it graduated to terrorism via the fiat of the courts, which deciphered that it was difficult to hold it down as the former.It is preposterous that in spite of the assurances from the respective state governments in the region that they were tackling the menace, they are yet wallowing in the shackles of terrorism.

It appears they are unable to be firm on their promise to fight the excesses of the terrorists who have made their once serene domains desecrated. It was a familiar terrain recently when the Zamfara State Government said it has secured the release of over 3,000 kidnapped victims from 2019 to date.

This is remarkable enough but there are more questions begging for answers in the recurring banditry in the state and indeed the North-west.

Ibrahim Dosara, the Commissioner for Information, was upbeat in Gusau the state capital while reviewing the progress of security operations in the state, when he was boisterous in announcing on government’s efforts in tackling terrorism.He said the victims regained their freedom through the peace, reconciliation and dialogue programme initiated by the administration of Gov Bello Matawalle.

The commissioner described the feat as one of the remarkable achievements recorded by Matawalle’s administration.Can this be an achievement when several measures could be taken to nib the scenario in the bud in the first place?“After taking over as governor of the state, Matawalle initiated peace, reconciliation and dialogue with bandits.

“The dialogue yielded positive results because the state is recording relative peace”.

According to Dosara, banditry activities have reduced to a minimal level across the state.He said the state witnessed nine months without recording bandits’ attacks at the initial stage of the dialogue.

He said the government successfully rescued different groups of kidnapped victims, comprising males, females and children, and that most of them hailed from Katsina and Sokoto States.While Zamfara could be thumbing its chest as having achieved a feat against the bandits, can that be safely said of other states within the North-west? 

It is of concern that they were only jolted to action but not on their watch over time, otherwise, it would not have been necessary to be given to any public self adulation on the matter that has brought the region virtually to its knees. It was also announced that many roads closed due to banditry have been opened for public transportation, adding that the 14 LGAs are accessible by roads.

The people of the state were admonished to cooperate with government and security agencies to end banditry and security challenges bedeviling the state.We are perturbed by this weak disposition of the state government which appeared as if it was on a charity drive by providing them security which is of necessity their right.

Why should the people applaud the government for providing what necessarily is their right? It has become anti-populist the posture to dangle a move against bandits as an achievement when they indeed deserve such as a right enshrined in our statutes.

The report from across most of the North-west states which hitherto provided thousands of tonnes in grains and other staples for the consumption of Nigerians suggests that we have unmitigated food crises on our hands, given the unrelenting onslaught of the terrorists in the region.

It is worrisome that there is a systematic encroachment of the terrorists in other parts of the North which were not initially infiltrated by them, a situation that would further jeopardise food security in the country.

Several analysts have averred that if the state governors in the region who are chief security officers of their respective states were decisive in curbing the menace of banditry which has graduated to ‘terrorism’, the situation would have long eased.

We quickly ask: What do the governors do with the humongous security vote often allocated to them? Why do they keep mum when several heinous attacks take place even when they could make some measure of response? Where the various intelligence reports are often generated which could serve as a basis to track bandits?

AljazirahNigeria puts the governors to task on the growing spate of insecurity in their states to go beyond the borders of established and relatively unworkable tactics in stemming the tide.

For now, all we see is sheer propaganda.

Tags assigned to this article:
Ibrahim DosaraNorth Westterrorism