Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) under the leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of JNI, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has called for the resignation of erring security personnel over the rise in insecurity in the country.
The Islamic body also urged the Federal Government to take decisive action to find lasting solutions to the spate of bloodletting across the country.
This was contained on a statement issued to newsmen on Wednesday JNI Secretary-General Dr Khalid Abubakar Aliyu.
The statement reads:
‘JNI is in utter shockwave over the unfortunate repeated incidences of loss of precious lives and wanton destruction of property arising from well-coordinated attacks of armed bandits, Boko Haram terrorist groups and rapists. These repeated calamitous scenarios would have been avoided had the government risen to the occasion, we nonetheless as always condemn the repeated brutal acts in their entirety; especially the lackadaisical attitude of relevant security agencies that seemed to be overwhelmed, despite repeated calls by concerned and well-meaning Nigerians for a decisive action.
‘We implore government to take all genuine calls, concerns so raised and recommendations proffered so far, even from perceived and/or alleged antagonists in good fate, in order to move the country on the path of glory – human security, as development in whatever guise, is utterly incomplete without security. Government should also note that citizens have a right to be listened to, over their feelings on insecurity challenge in Nigeria.
‘The repeated massacres of people, as well as the senseless burning of houses and livestock that do ensue in Borno, Katsina, Sokoto, Zamfara, Niger states and indeed other states such as Adamawa, Kaduna and Taraba, should give governments and its functionaries at both federal and state levels sleepless nights and by now an instantaneous pronouncement followed by robust actions should have been made by the government of the day, not verbal warnings and condemnations dished out to the perpetrators of the murderous acts.
‘JNI also notes with dismay the lack of symbolic gestures to affected communities by those in authorities. They remain in their comfort zones as their subjects are subjected to arsons and killings of the highest degree. This has thrown the affected areas into despair and the bandits are emboldened seeing that the government seems not much bothered, resulting from its action about the plight of the people so affected. We are however not oblivious of the fact that security matters are not often for public consumption, but not in perilous situations, citizens’ confidence needs to be strengthened, with resounding reassurances.
‘Government should not reduce itself to just issuing light press statements on security upheavals.
2 As stakeholders, we strongly believe that the repeated killings are blameworthy, and no one found culpable in this gross act of negligence should be spared.
‘In all honesty, all erring personnel would have been dealt with decisively by now or they themselves should have honourably resigned, as oftentimes seen in other climes. The most pathetic of all these incidences were that even the normal administrative panels of inquiries are not considered, not to talk of a thorough investigative panel, where at least citizens would appear and ventilate their feelings.
‘Isn’t the government of the day a popular government? Is it not a participatory government? Why doesn’t public opinion(s) matter to it? Or isn’t public opinion(s) considered an ingredient to the government of the day? Since the resurgence of the unfortunate occurrences of the killings in the mentioned states, JNI has been following with keen interest these unfortunate situations as they unfold and suffice to state that a reasonable person’s analysis may conclude that there is apparent lack of synergy between security operatives in Nigeria, or outright complacency, especially if reports of media altercations between security operatives were anything to go by.
‘This is so evident and at the same time heart-rending because where citizens provide intelligence to security operatives on suspected criminal activities, one end up hearing that such community i.e. the informants are hunted down and many killed within the next 24-48 hours by the criminals for providing intelligence to security men. Cases in point are 81 people were killed by Boko Haram for revealing their location to soldiers on 21st January 2020.
‘Likewise, soldiers reportedly opened fire on Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) operatives who repelled Boko Haram attack in Mainok, a town along Maiduguri-Damaturu road of Borno state, on 21st January 2020, as well as soldiers in three Hilux gun trucks, who claimed they were on a mission to repel Boko Haram attack on Gubio, deliberately rammed into a Rapid Response Squad (RRS) van which was used to block the road to prevent illegal entry, which occurred on 13th June 2020. All episodes were widely reported by both print and electronic media.
‘Worrisome also is that farming is becoming more and more a mirage than a reality, due to the unending security cataclysm, affecting the food chain and its production, which in the final analysis may affect cost and distribution, in the foreseeable future due to the insecurity.
‘Furthermore, isn’t this insecurity fiasco a near confirmation of the rumours making the rounds that security operatives do not want the war on Boko Haram to end, because of the lucrative benefits they allegedly derive therefrom? Make no mistake, the insecurity bedevilling North Western states and some of the North Central states are more or less an extension of Boko Haram. Take, for instance, the person (one of the gang leaders) responsible for terrorizing neighbouring communities in the forests of Katsina and Zamfara axis is called Kachalla (a Kanuri usual name), which is, of course, one tragedy too many for Nigeria! We will, therefore, continue to ask questions: how have the perpetrators been able to gain access to such communities to successfully perpetrate such heinous crimes unabated? How comes they were not prevented or intercepted? Does it mean that when they were en-route no security or informants provided any hint? How have the perpetrators been able to have access to weapons, despite the Nigerian borders’ closure? Some will argue that it isn’t lethal, such as bombings!
‘Then if so, where is the humanity in us? As you cannot claim to be a man of faith, without having the feeling of humanity in you! We ask again, aren’t the security operatives conversant with Sun Tzu’s Five Types of Spies in his The Art of War: local, inside, double, doomed and surviving? And that no one must discover your methods. Moreover, what stops the use of other manoeuvres if what is in place isn’t yielding the desired results? Indeed, there is much more than meets the eye in the way the insecurity incidences were being handled by security agencies.
‘On the other hand, the rising tide of the menace of rape in Nigeria is another pang and a scare on the collective conscience of Nigerians, only but if we know and been the prime inequity to womenfolk in Nigeria, formidable solutions must be found in all ramifications, in order to put an end to it. Taking into account the religious beliefs of the perpetrators – simply sincere religious scholars must be involved in arresting the menace, as most perpetrators are either Muslims or Christians. Linked to the menace of gender violence is undoubtedly rape, whose devilish manifestation ought to be sternly addressed.
‘Hence, the JNI strongly opines that the female’s chastity, honour and integrity must be fully protected. Legislation as a tool serves as the foundation for effective, coordinated, and deterrence mechanism through legal action against perpetrators, as the absence of weighty punitive measure(s) has invariably allowed gender violence to fester for too long in Nigeria.
‘Therefore, JNI appeals that: 1. Governments at all levels should do everything possible, as a matter of urgency to stop these evil acts of terror repeatedly being unleashed on innocent souls and restore peace and security, which is their first constitutional role, as inaction and silence is no longer acceptable;
‘The Nigerian Army and all other security outfits in Nigeria must be properly well equipped, adequately provided and maintained routinely by the Government, as the narratives making the round suggests that the criminals do have more sophisticated armouries than the security men on the frontlines.
‘A symbolic gesture by those in authorities, such as a prompt visit to affected areas by the federal and state government functionaries, as well as making strong statements with a follow up decisive actions must be entrenched. This will assuage the communities to have more confidence in their leaders seeing that they are not left alone in their ordeal. It will also boost their morale and send a strong signal to the bandits that the government is ready to go to any length to protect its people.
‘Government must spare no genuine effort(s) to immediately provide support to all the affected communities, as many are now displaced – becoming internally displaced persons (IDPs) in their own land without any kind of sustenance from the government, except the public schools they sought abode, which further speaks volumes considering the attendant social nuances often associated with IDP camps.
‘Similarly, government should rebuild the initial settlements of the IDPs and return them back accordingly with proper security, such that they can return to their occupation – farming and animal husbandry. In the same vein, JNI calls on the well to do in the society to donate generously to victims of these heinous acts to reduce their sufferings and deliver them from despair. They are implored to be magnanimous as was seen in their fabulous donations to the fight against the novel COVID-19.
‘A collaborative and collective approach should be put in place between the Federal Ministries of Women Affairs, Justice, and Internal Affairs, as well as sincere religious scholars in mapping out strategies of arresting the menace of raping and gender violence in Nigeria. Similarly, parents, guardians, as well as all community leaders, must do everything within their powers to prevent attitudes, relationships and gestures that may lead to rape. It is often said; prevention is better than cure. State governments could as well initiate the same process with the legal backing emanating from their respective Houses of Assembly.
‘Government at all levels in collaboration with different security agencies must rise against the tide of insecurity in whatever guise, through proactive measures and nipping it in the bud before it becomes blown off, thus small arms and light weapons (SALWs) in the hands of criminals be mopped or else Nigeria will soon witness the upswing of arms in the name of self-protection amongst Nigerians.
‘We implore all Muslims particularly Imams to recommence Qunootun-Nawazil (special prayers at calamitous periods in the last Raka’at of each obligatory prayer and non-obligatory prayers) seeking Allah’s intervention; 8. Likewise, fervent observance of Adhkar (remembrance of Allah) should also be ventured to by all Muslims, as it is a vital tool for easing fears, tension and uncertainties such as the myriad security challenges bedevilling Nigeria. Similarly, supplications in Sujood (prostrating position) in all circumstances are also paramount.
‘Although prayers without an accompanying action(s) by the government may amount to playing the ostrich game! Meanwhile, we commiserate with the families of the victims of these inhuman attacks and also condole with the families of gallant security men that died at battlefronts, husbands and wives, parents and guardians who have lost their wards/children in these unwarranted, but repeated orgies of misfortunes. We pray Almighty Allah to grant all the deceased forgiveness and mercy, while those that sustained injuries quick recovery.’