The remarks credited to Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State that his administration would assist citizens to acquire arms and defend themselves against bandits, have continued to elicit reactions.
Chairman of CAN in Kaduna State, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, said “the public talk by Gov Masari about self-defence is not new to us and our constitution. The only concern we have is that our security agencies will use this to arrest more victims whose only sin is having guns to defend themselves while the criminals will continue to do havoc and will not be arrested.”
“When a serving Governor repeatedly makes this type of comment that Governor Masari is making which to my knowledge is the second time he is saying that citizens should get weapons to defend themselves then know that he is aware that our security forces can not defeat the bandits.”
“Citizens that are still waiting for a miracle to happen should wake up and do the miracle themselves, that is the miracle of defending themselves and defeating the bandits. Those we have been praying and hoping that they will defeat the terrorist for us are saying that they can not help us”.
On his part, Mutala Muhammad of Arewa Defence League ( ADL) said, “We welcome with optimism the statement by the Katsina State Governor, Hon. Aminu Bello Masari, to the effect that his government is going to assist communities to acquire weapons to defend themselves against rural bandits and other criminal gangs.
“The apparent failure of our military and other law enforcement agencies to protect citizens against bandits and other dangerous criminal has created an atmosphere where heavily armed bandits operate freely in the Northwest and parts of Niger State with impunity as they rape, plunder, maim and kill citizens with reckless abandon.
“Number of opinion leaders and Associations had called on communities to take up arms and defend themselves as some people feared that such calls if hindered could degenerates into anarchy.
“With this initiative by the governor to assist communities armed themselves with some sort of official regulation,it will balance the use of terror by these criminals thereby, reduce the number of these frequent attracts on communities.
However, spokesperson of Coalition of Northern Groups ( CNG) , Suleiman Abdulaziz , said “that is nothing but an afterthought from leaders who have turned down every suggestions for collective approach to the security situation in the North.”
“The northern Governors in particular have refused to act on the advice to design a uniform approach as against the current isolated approaches which have not worked and have no promise of yielding results.”
“It is common knowledge that whenever the gangs of criminals are attacked and dislodged from one state, they slip into other states with ease. Unless by this new resolve Masari means he will mobilise his fellow Governors of the frontline states to agree to a common, regulated action, it will amount to just another exercise in futility.
“Serious challenges such as the one we are faced with ought not be treated with the level of levity and condescension shown by the governors of the affected northern states, neither should they be seen as affecting only one region or state or, for that matter, one ethnic group or the other. On the contrary, such challenges are cross-national issues that affect every one of us regardless of where we live or come from.
“For this reason, the security problem must be confronted collectively with the entire will and resolve of the people behind the effort. Failure to do so will indubitably mean that every effort made in isolation such as this one being proposed by Masari, will defeat all the endeavours, and render the task of ending the crisis.the more difficult and futile.
“Every one of us must therefore, become a stakeholder and a committed actor in this struggle to free our society and our country of this debilitating problem.”
“In any case, even that proposal by Masari, though belated, is a better option to street protests that are bound to be manipulated by unscrupulous politicians. Masari should also go further to organise general prayers for God’s intercession,” he said.
[5:22 AM, 12/30/2021] Mr Fasua: Gunmen attack Zamfara village, kill traditional ruler, three others
Armed persons, on Wednesday, attacked Gada community in Bungudu Local Government Area of Zamfara State, killing its traditional ruler, Umaru Bawan-Allah, and three other residents.
The Secretary, Bungudu Emirate Council, Usman Ahmad, told PREMIUM TIMES that the attackers invaded the community around 1 a.m. and unleashed mayhem on the residents.
Ahmad said the emirate council has announced 4 p.m. Wednesday for the burial rites of the traditional ruler and the other victims.
Gada community is about seven kilometres from Bungudu, the local council headquarters.
The development comes barely three months after the Emir of Bungudu, Hassan Attahiru, was kidnapped along the Kaduna-Abuja highway in September. He spent 32 days in captivity before he was released.
The Bungundu emir is considered of a higher rank than the traditional ruler of Gada who was killed in the Wednesday attack.
Residents said the gunmen operated for about four hours, killing, maiming and raping women at will.
They said the bandits set fire on the foodstuff and vehicles parked in the palace of the traditional ruler.
The phone contact of the police spokesperson in Zamfara, Muhammad Shehu, did not connect Wednesday morning when PREMIUM TIMES tried to get the reaction of the police.
Attacks by terror groups on communities in Zamfara have become rampant with hundreds of people killed or kidnapped in 2021. Apart from Zamfara, other Northwest states that witness similar attacks are Sokoto, Katsina and Kaduna.
The attacks have continued despite the heavy deployment of security operatives to the area.
On Tuesday, the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, advised residents to arm themselves so as to defend themselves against the bandits.