John Adams, Minna
The recent decision by the Niger state Governor, Alhaji Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello to relocate the over 1,000 displaced people who were sacked by armed bandits back to their trouble Communities has attracted sharp reactions from youths in the affected communities.
A group of youths under the auspices of “Concerned Shiroro Youths” has descended on the Governor for his decision to force the people back to their communities currently under siege from bandits, describing it as “inhuman, unwise and an attempt to further subject the affected victims to misery and avoidable hardship.”
The youths, in a press briefing in Minna on Monday to x-ray the security situation in the entire Shiroro local government where armed bandits have continued to unleash terror on the people in the last one year, said that the government opting to return displaced people to their unsafe, unsecured and highly volatile homes is tantamount to passing death sentences on them.”
Speaking through their Spokesmen, Bello Ibrahim and Sani Yussuf Kokki the Concerned Shiroro Youths said, “What is left in Shiroro local government is for these bandits to hoist their flag and lay claim to the communities.”
It could be recalled that over 1,000 people, mostly women and children, fled their homes in Manta and Jiko Communities on Tuesday/Wednesday last week as a result of the onslaught on them by heavily armed bandits numbering about 50 and were taking refuge at the Bosso primary school in Minna, the state capital.
The Governor’s plans to relocate the displaced people back to their troubled communities was as a result of the fear of the spread of COVID-19.
But the youths warned the Governor to be wary and mindful of taking any decision that will further endanger the lives of the people who are already frustrated and impoverished, adding that “this will amount to double jeopardy.”
The youths also declared that both the federal and Niger state governments and their political leaders have failed them, resulting in bandits taking over the local government area in the last five years.
The Youths specifically accused President Muhammadu Buhari of showing no concern, at least issuing a single statement to condemn the series of attacks that have claimed hundreds of lives like he has done for other states, especially Katsina.
They also accused Governor Sani Bello of insensitivity to the plight of the people adding that “he had never found it expedient to visit any of the communities attacked by bandits or even the internally displaced people camp in Kuta whereas he got the second highest votes from the local government in the governorship election.”
“There has been no commensurate effort specifically aimed at flushing out criminal elements in our communities thereby casting doubt in the minds of our people as to whether we are still part of the entity called Nigeria.
“As a matter of facts we are no longer secured and safe in Shiroro local government what is only left for these bandits is to foist their flag and lay claim to Shiroro local government.
“Our patience is exhausted. Must government at all levels wait until we are exterminated and our communities and villages wiped out on the world map before doing the needful?”