Following rising security challenges facing Nigeria, especially the banditry ravaging Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna states, some Nigerians have expressed their opinion on how to end the menace.
They spoke during the weekly current affairs phone-in programme, Ra’ayi Riga, by the BBC, Hausa which was devoted on the security challenges facing Nigeria.
This comes on the heels of reports that the Zamfara state government has resorted to the hiring of magicians, conjurers and jugglers in order to fight the bandits.
Contributing to the programme, Dr. Kabiru Adamu said the strategies that the government is adopting are either weak or are deliberately made to be ineffective, because of certain gains. Maintaining that environment challenges were contributing to the escalation of this problem, he said: “Measures should be put in place to tackle illegal weapon trafficking. Confidence of citizens on security agencies should be restored, as most citizens see these security agents not trust worthy.”
A Fulani Rights Activist, Dr. Aliyu Tilde, called on Fulani to stop “this criminality”, because the culture of Fulani is contrary to what they are doing. He said in the history of Fulani, this is the first time that they engage in this kind of crime.
“We should know that this thing is spreading to Taraba, Plateau and Bauchi. Fulani have excelled in different endeavours; how can they allow themselves to descend this low. This thing is disturbing and it is shameful on us”, Tilde said.
He, however, said blame should be apportioned on those that allowed the security institutions to become ineffective in the discharge of their duties.
Another contributor, Barrister Bukar Audu Bulama, wondered why the government keeps deploying same strategies, saying the government ought to have come with new ones.
“It is obvious that the security personnel have no enough equipment to fight these bandits and this is what negligence caused. A small group of criminal has now transformed to a cartel.
“There are no signs that the President is concerned with what is happening. He should have declared state of emergency, as this would allow him to get more money of the state to fight the challenge”, Bulama said adding that bandits were getting money and are getting stronger every day.
Aliyu Isa Moriki, who called from Zurmi Local Government, Zamfara State said they have organized peaceful demonstration to express worries on how the President abandoned them but the DSS stopped the demonstration citing security reasons.
“We withdraw the protest in Zamfara, but other Nigerians can go ahead to demonstrate in all parts of the country on our behalf. Many Nigerians now don’t want to visit Zamfara. People now visit magicians for anti-gun amulets, as they have giving up on security agencies. This is how bad the situation is”, he said.
Haruna Dayyabu, contributing from Birnin Gwari Local Government, Kaduna State said despite the establishment of Army Barrack and Police Division in Birnin Gwari, kidnapping was an everyday affair either on the roads or in villages.
“Recently, they sacked ten villages in Kakangi and abducted a pregnant woman in Kamfanin Doka. She is still with them three weeks after. There is no household in Birnin Gwari that has not paid ransom to bandits”, he laments.
Presidential Spokesperson, Malam Garba Shehu, described the situation as a terrible and disturbing experience, adding thatgovernment was doing everything to bring the matter to an end.
He said the President had called emergency security meeting on this and two battalions were set up to take over the Abuja-Kaduna and Kaduna-Birnin Gwari roads.
“The President has taken many steps. If you remember, all policemen that have spent three years and above in Zamfara were transferred as they were fingered as part of the problem.There was a time the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Danbazau, threatened to bomb all the areas if the people did not fish the bandits out.
“Buhari has visited Dansadau and put on Army uniform and has never done that for any place. Government has set up many operations. The government in Zamfara sacked many title holders, all in efforts to bring the problem to an end”, Shehu said.