From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
A group, Arewa Development Forum for Peace and Justice, has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari and northern leaders to end the nefarious activities of bandits terrorising the region before the people get frustrated and resort to self help.
This formed part of the group’s resolution at a meeting convened to deliberate on insecurity in Kaduana State and the North West, yesterday.
A few days ago, terrorists invaded a mining site in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State killing several people, including soldiers, police and local vigilantes, and abducting four Chinese expatriates. This was coming few days after reports of alleged attacks and kidnap of scores of people in some villages in Kaduna, Kebbi, Niger, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto states.
In a document signed by its Chairman, Zubairu Mustafa, the group bemoaned the continuous attacks and killings of Nigerians without any serious strategies by security operatives to end the trend.
It also backed the call by Zamfara State Governor, Bello Matawalle that people of his state should be allowed to legally acquire and use weapons to protect themselves against terrorists attacks in their communities.
The group condemned those who opposed Matawalle’s recommendation, especially the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor and the elites, who they accused of being economical with the realities of kidnapping, killings and attacks of communities in North West and environs by bandits.
“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 the 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…
“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 killings by using AK-47s and other dangerous weapons in our region? Our leaders must act now or we continue to be a target of elimination by minority marauders going about with weapons against the majority. If the government refused to act now, they should know that when people are frustrated, they will look for the best option for themselves which is to arm themselves.”