• FRESH ATTACKS ARE MAKING PEOPLE OF ZAMFARA MORE SCARED
• CRITICS OF THE GOV’S DOCTRINE ARE KEEPING MUTE.
• SECURITY FORCES ARE PROBING TO BE IN-ACTIVE TO CONFRONT THE DEADLY ACTS OF THE BANDITS.
• ATTACKS IN ABUJA CAPITAL CITY SIGNAL THE COLLPASE OF THE NATION’S SECURITY ARCHITECTURE.
• WHAT MATTERS TO ZAMFARA PEOPLE IS SECURITY
It is time again to discuss the rationale behind the declaration of the “DOCTRINE OF SELF DEFENSE” as enforced by the Governor of Zamfara state, Bello Muhammad Matawalle at the early beginning of this month of July 2022.
There are more than enough evidences which shows that the corporate security architecture of the country is threatened by the failure of the Nigerian security forces the military, police, and rest to do the right thing in securing the country.
Nigeria is bleeding from all direction and while the political elites feel undisturbed because they have the option of hiding at the Federal Capital Territory Abuja and continue to pretend that the circumstance is not as bad as people are broadcasting it. Now the war has been taken to their door steps right in the nation’s capital city and I believed they can now feel the pain.
Fortunately, for the critics of the Governor’s “doctrine of self-defense” the like of Chief of Defense Staff and rest, they are becoming mute and are no longer talking convincingly to the Nigerian people what is the best option to “self-defense”. This is given Governor Matawalle an offer hand to be believed by Nigerians that if the security forces cannot do it, the citizens need to be empowered to save their lives by themselves and there is no second option to this theory.
No one is happy with the sad development and indeed the failure of the security forces in this regard but their inability to get the problem addressed and with the increasing spate of the killings and abduction for ransom, the truth need to be told that other states hit by this deadly incident need to adopt same strategy of Bello Matwalle.
The Abuja-Kaduna train is no longer active and travelling through Abuja-Kaduna highway is now a dream to many of the political class due to the fear of the bandits.
The federal government has ordered for the closure of all Unity Schools in the FCT and following same steps, the Nasarawa State government has ordered for the closure of all schools simply because, the fear of the bandits is now raising high to the grip and the elites are trying to become in touch with the reality that banditry is real.
Few days back they launched a deadly attack against the presidential guards and murderously killed active Nigerian officers while attempting to access the Nigerian law school at Bwari. We cannot forget the Kuje attack and the embarrassment it has caused to our nation’s security history.
While the argument against the decision of the Governor of Zamfara for the people to defend themselves was on high speed, the notorious bandits attacked the Presidential convoy inside the Katsina home state of the President and killed scores with many sustaining injuries.
For the citizens of Zamfara state, these form of attacks are not new to them because thousands of innocent lives have been lost to these types of armed bandit brutality for close to a decade now and the same political class that are becoming awakened had nothing to share as pain to what is happening to the citizens of Zamfara state over the years.
From the time the declaration for the “DOCTRINE OF SELF DEFENSE” was enforced by the Zamfara Governor, there are dozens of scenario that occurred which are much more convincing that there is no better time Zamfara needed the enforcement of this doctrine than now.
Thunder Blowers a Zamfara based online media platform for instance, had reported on Thursday the murderous situation thousands of Gummi people are suffering for. In their report they mentioned that, for a week now, over (32) communities were dislodged and over (3,000) households including women and children have been forced out of their settlements.
We have also read painfully in their story that a traditional ruler, who suffered same attacks within the week under review, could not establish the whereabouts of his wives and children who might either be abducted by the bandits or moved out of their Bardoki settlements for unwanted migration.
People of Bukkuyum for the past three days are also suffering from the trauma of armed bandit attacks. Communities of Ruwan Jema, Yashi, Masama and Zarummai were all forced out of their homes by the bandits and today based on the reports we have received, displaced persons from these communities are roaming the streets of Bukkuyum town without any moral or psychological support.
On Monday, another group of bandits invaded Morai community in Talatar Mafara killed three persons and abducted twenty-seven others to an unknown destination.
As I write this article, bandits have taken over Shinkafi-Moriki-Kaura Namoda road and based on the information reaching this medium, they have abducted scores of people while many passengers were grip to fear even as the road was later cleared.
At a point, citizens of Zamfara are no longer thinking of conventional security forces when these types of attacks are carried out by the bandits because, they have the impression that they have nothing to offer in terms of engaging the bandits.
Today the highest thing the police will do is to respond to the media inquiries that police have mobilized tactical troops after people are murderously killed, or the army will arrive at the scene of the incident after the bandits have executed their brutality and left.
It is not in doubt that the state government has done its best in funding the operation by the security forces and also provided all the needed support required by the security agencies to end this traumatic situation of armed banditry.
Since the public confidence on the ability of the Nigerian security forces is diminishing, the Governor who is driving on their mandate need to come up with an option of rebuilding their confidence and for me, the declaration of this doctrine is more or less the last resort for Matawalle and every well-meaning citizen of the state shall see reason to support it.
These fresh cases highlighted above are few out of many recent ones which affected hundreds of communities in Zamfara and the last hope of the people is the state government and because of the statutory constraints faced by the Governor in terms of laws and jurisdiction, the Governor has little to do and if he had to wait until the forces of the federal government have come to the aid of his people then there will be a bigger problem to confront.
The recent solidarity rally often embarked by the coalition of the civil society groups supporting the declaration of the doctrine of self defense by Governor Bello Matawalle is actually a good step because, that will ginger the Governor to continue to take active measures within the confines of the law in making sure that his people are secured.
If the political class and indeed the elites can embrace similar strategy adopted by the coalition of the civil society groups in joining hands with the Governor, I think the forces of the federal government will see reasons why they should be more serious and alive to their responsibilities.
For now, the state government is alone and the casualties in terms of killings and abductions are at increase and no responsible leader can fold his hands and allow these murderous actions against his people to continue without any sensitive action instituted to avert the situation.
Just like the civil society activists told the Governor during their solidarity rally, in as per as the constitution of Nigeria give every citizen of Nigeria right to life, the Governor is free to work his ways in making sure that his people are secured throuh legitimate ways.
As for the issue of local security guards initiative, I believed Governor of Zamfara and indeed all other Governors in Nigeria shall see reason to wed into the argument of the Femi Falana that they should take advantage of their powers as managers of the Nigerian Police Council to came up with workable operational strategies that can enhance the job of the police so that they can support the local initiatives of the states to continue to do more because for now, people are not convinced with their operational efficiency.
As for the military I also agreed with the majority of the opinions that the army is reluctant in ending the war because of some bureaucratic constraints and corruption as alleged to some quarters and to a large extent, this is making people to loss hope day-in-day-out about the capacity of the Nigerian army to help end the menace of the armed banditry in North-Western Nigeria.
In my opinion, Governor Bello Matawalle is becoming vindicated by his declaration of the doctrine of self defense because things are moving from bad to worst with less to show in terms of the effort by the security forces to get to the end of these social problems.
We have to be realistic as citizens and play a corporate role without political bias because the bandits knew no member of the APC, PDP APGA or AP they cannot also separate between politician and voter, they strike at will and kill at their mercy.
May God help secure Zamfara state