THE recent killing of about 40 gold miners at a mining site in Gidan Ardo Village in Bindin District of Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State by unidentified gunmen is disturbing. According to reports, the miners were attacked last week when they were prospecting for gold in the area.
The report also said that over 70 gunmen rode into the mining site and shot indiscriminately at the miners. They killed over 40 of the miners and left several others injured. They also carted away most of the mineral finds. But, the motive for the killing has not been established.
The Zamfara State Police Command’s spokesman, Shehu Muhammad, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed the incident and stressed that the police have commenced investigation into the matter. He also said that the anti-terrorism squad of the command had already been deployed in the area and has joined the Army in trailing the gunmen.
Also, the Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, has condemned the attack and described the killing as barbaric and inhuman. He also expressed his heartfelt sympathy to the families of the victims and pledged to continue to collaborate with security agencies to ensure the arrest of the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
We condemn the killing of the gold miners in Zamfara State and call on the Police High Command to ensure that the perpetrators of the mindless criminality are brought to justice. The Police should not rest until these criminals are fished out and diligently prosecuted according to the laws of the land. All those found guilty should be given condign punishment to deter others from toeing the evil path.
We also sympathise with the families of the victims and pray for the quick recovery of the injured ones. Since the primary duty of government is to ensure the security of lives and property, government should step up efforts to ensure that people are secure in every part of the country.
The government must urgently increase the numerical strength of our police force through regular recruitments in view of the rising crime wave in the country. The intelligence gathering ability of the force can be enhanced through training.
We say this because modern policing requires training on intelligence gathering and deployment. The Zamfara killing has underscored the need for community policing in the country. Therefore, we urge the government to consider the introduction of state police as well as community policing.
We believe that these are the strategies that will ensure the overall security of all parts of the country. Nigeria can also borrow a leaf from the United States and other countries on some aspects of modern policing.
Over time, it has been observed that our centralised policing system cannot adequately provide the needed security in the country. It has so many shortcomings that decentralised policing can adequately address. We cannot consider the country secure if its rural populace is insecure.
The best way to measure the security of a country is the sense of protection and security in the far-flung rural areas. All Nigerians, including the miners, should be adequately protected as they pursue their occupation. Nigerians should not die in the course of duty or plying their chosen trade.
The welfare and security of Nigerians should be government’s top priority. The government should not allow some criminals reduce Nigeria to a Hobbesian state of nature where life is “nasty, brutish and short.” Their murderous inclination and their plan to dehumanize other Nigerians must be strongly resisted.
Our police should be trained to detect and prevent crimes. The police must always be one step ahead of the criminal elements and prevent incidents like the Zamfara miners killing.