By Yunusa Musa
Barely a week ago, while reacting to the pronouncement of the election petition tribunal which sat in Sokoto over the disputed March 18 2023 Zamfara Guber polls, Mr Lawal described the affirmation of his election as a confirmation of the will of the good people of Zamfara State and that was what caught my interest.
In a statement credited to his camp, it was stated that; “The judgement was not surprising but rather an affirmation of the collective decision made by the unwavering people of Zamfara.
“Let it be known that this victory belongs to all the people of Zamfara, not just the Governor and his party. The judgement will encourage Governor Lawal to continue with his resolve to fulfil his mandate and work tirelessly to ensure that the people of Zamfara State experience the benefits of good governance.”
This would have been appropriate if events of the last four months and the last few days had a semblance of good governance. It is very sad that killings have appeared endless and ubiquitous in the state.
On June 3 2023, rampaging terrorists killed 24 residents of two communities in Maradun area of Zamfara State in two separate but related attacks. Three people were killed in Sikida while 21 people, mostly vigilante members, were killed in Janbako.
On July 24 2023, just over a month after the Jankabo and Sikida attacks, seven Nigerian Soldiers including an Officer and a Policeman, as well as 20 members of vigilante groups of “FOB Kango” were killed by armed bandits in Zamfara state during a foot patrol. This was confirmed by the Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General Edward Buba also said two soldiers were missing in action.
While dust was yet to settle on that, yet again on Aug 7 2023, gunmen suspected to be terrorists attacked Kwatar community, close to Gidan Zala, Kotorkoshi district of Bungudu Local Government Area in Zamfara State, killing scores and kidnapping many villagers.
It was also gathered that on the same day, armed bandits unleashed terror attack at a village near Dangibga village in Tsafe Local Government Area of the State but the number of casualties has not been revealed at at the time of compiling this report.
It is widely reported as we speak that the aforementioned axis to Tsafe Local Government Area of the State has become a bandits’ area.
It’s on record that residents of Anka Local Government Area of the state had to stage a massive protest in July over insecurity in the town as they and every other residents of Zamfara want to the Governor rise up to the occasion.
The last few days, Zamfara has been in the news for the wrong, but usual reason; the abduction of some students of the Federal University Gusau from their off-campus residence at Sabo Gida village in Bungudu Local Government Area. Also, there was the abduction and subsequent murder of a veteran journalist, Hamisu Danjibga, a reporter for the Voice of Nigeria (VON) domiciled in the State and whose body was discovered in a soak-away in Gusau, the State capital.
While the governor has directed the Deputy Governor, Mani Mallam Mummuni, to provide all the necessary support to the security agencies to restore normalcy in all affected areas, my concern is that the Governor needs to do more.
In the face of the rising insecurity which is getting nearer to the capital city, the governor embarked on a trip and till we speak, he hasn’t cut short his trip to show the people of Zamfara that their well-being is a top priority to him.
I take solace in the fact that President Bola Tinubu has ordered security operatives to ensure those still in captivity are freed while I plead with him to save the people of Zamfara from total annihilation as a declaration of State emergency might just be only solution to the endless bloodletting as the governor has consistently shown he is insensitive and clueless on how to tackle the prevailing insecurity in the state.
No man leaves his home burning and no leader with an ounce of responsibility will hear of such a sad and shocking news and will be comfortable miles away from his duty post. The Governor needs to do more as this is a trying time for his state.
Yunusa Musa, a public affairs analyst sent this piece from Gusau