From Okwe Obi, Abuja
PIQUED by the recent killing of over 100 rice farmers at Zabarmari in Borno State, pan-Arewa social political organisation, Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), has advised the people of the region to protect themselves against bandits.
Addressing newsmen on Saturday in Abuja, CNG spokesman, Abul-Azeez Sulieman, said the advice became necessary because of the inability of the Federal Government to stop the incessant banditry ravaging the region.
Sulieman noted that even the utterances of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicty, Garba Shehu; Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, “exposed the mislead- ing claims that the President Muhammadu Buhari government and our military have decimated the insurgents….”
He added: “We are thus agitated by the lame unsympathetic excuse of breaching army protocol by the slain farmers made by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, the indecent and callous attribution of the people’s anger and frustration to mere politicking by Information Minister, Lai Mohammed and the unhelpful, scary twenty-year life span prediction for the rampaging security situation by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.
“In the light of the current general and pervasive insecurity being felt across the North with regularity of attacks, killings, kidnapping, insurgency, highway robberies and the sacking of entire communities and the realisation that leaders such as the ones we have, who cannot be advised or criticised, are a liability, have increased our conviction that the only remaining option is for the people to mobilise for a regulated self protection.”
He pointed out that the wide condemnation that greeted the recent killing was because of the high number, noting that “these killings and kidnaps by audacious criminal gangs that roam freely are constant across all communities and highways in northern Nigeria.”
He disclosed that CNG would convoke an all northern Nigeria security review in Kaduna State, on Monday 14 and Tuesday 15, December 2020.
According to him, “the review session shall draw representation from security ex- perts, traditional and religious groups, the civil society, business community, government, trade, youth and women associations from each of the 19 northern states to discuss how to achieve comprehensive synergy between states from uniform action as against the isolated responses that have proved ineffective, mobilise broad-based community action, improve security/community cooperation in especially information sharing imperatives.