Insecurity: Matawalle tasks northern leaders on unity
By Gistflash News
July 26, 2021
Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara on Sunday appealed to northern leaders to unite and end the incessant banditry and kidnapping ravaging the region.
Matawalle made call in a presentation: “Fight against banditry in North West, Nigeria; challenges and solutions”, at the annual lecture by Arewa Media Writers Association in Kaduna.
Matawalle, represented by his Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Ibrahim Dosara, attributed the lingering security challenges confronting the region to lack of unity among the leaders that allowed criminals turn the region into a killing field.
He noted that banditry ravaging the north western states, if not urgently tackled, would consume the entire northern region and the country at large.
“Unless we all wake up to the situation, the war against banditry in the North West will remain a challenge that has the potential to swallow the region and the country at large. We need to get to the roots of the situation and stop politicising it,” he said.
The governor urged the northern leaders to urgently set aside their differences and proffer lasting solutions to the banditry and kidnapping before the situation got out of hand.
He, however, averred that the activities of the bandits in the region was orchestrated by age-long injustice and leadership failure.
Matawalle said that some politicians were taking advantage of the situation to achieve political goals.
“Unless we all wake up to the situation, the war against banditry in the north west will remain a significant security challenge that has the potential to swallow the region and the country.
“The destruction that banditry is wreaking on the region’s people and economy is unfathomable,” he said.
Matawalle clarified that the much talked about mining in Zamfara was not responsible for banditry as many were made to believe.
He said bandit activities in Shinkafi and Zurmi local governments remained the hotbed even when there are no mining activities in those areas.
“When I took over office on May 29th, 2019, Zamfara State had already been mired in a serious security crisis for over a decade, marked by banditry, livestock rustling, kidnapping and a host of other crimes.
“On almost daily basis, the state was in the news for bloodletting, fire, pillage and significant displacement of people, particularly those living in rural areas.
“The historical, economic, social and cultural ties between the dominant communities of Fulani and Hausa were ruptured; farming activities across the state were halted, and commercial activities were crippled.
“With poverty on the increase and food security seriously affected by the crisis, the state was on the verge of a catastrophic social eruption capable of destabilising our communities and the northwest subregion.
“Rural banditry in Zamfara and other parts of the North, in my opinion, is a result of the progressive degradation of our moral standards and a culture of greed fed by an unfettered need for material goods.
“It is evident, therefore, that we, the leaders, are responsible for the plight of the North. The North lacks responsible leadership to steer it through our time’s uncharted waters.
“Reluctance by the affected states to embrace peace dialogue, which would have deprived the recalcitrant bandits currently tormenting our people of safe corridors in the region.
“Our ruling elite has no vision for the region beyond gaining political power. We have all seen how the elites in the Southeast and Southwest respond in unison to all matters concerning their regions’ development.
“We have seen how they have a defined agenda and are relentless in their pursuit of regional development.
“The reluctance by the affected states to embrace peace dialogue, lack of support from a section of politicians that wish to take advantage of the situation to achieve political ends are top challenges slowing down the peace efforts in the region,” he lamented.
He, therefore, appealed to leaders of the region to wake up from their lethargy and unite in combating this grave challenge of banditry, stressing that “we need to get to the roots of the situation, stop politicising it and act decisively”.
Earlier, the National Secretary of the association, Mr Haider Hashim, said Arewa Media Writers was established for public enlightenment on peaceful coexistence, unity and understanding among Nigerians.
“It is an amalgamated group of different members of teeming youths who are mainly users of social media, seasoned journalists and public affairs analysts with a vast interest in politics, national development and cohesion from the Northern region,” he said.
Gunmen Attack Anambra Police Station, Kill Four Officers
Unknown gunmen in the early hours of Wednesday attacked a police station located in Atani, the headquarters of Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State.
It was gathered that the gunmen launched the attack on the police facility around 1:30 am on Wednesday.
A further report had it that four police officers were killed in the attack.
Since the emergence of Charles Soludo as the Governor of Anambra State there had been series of attacks on police and government facilities in the state.
Meanwhile, the spokesman of the state police command, DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, has confirmed the development.
He said, “The hoodlums came around 1 a.m., and unlucky for us, four police operatives paid the supreme price.”
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Echeng Echeng on hearing of the attack immediately mobilized men of the command from various units to the area.
“The hoodlums were still there when the CP personally led men of the command to the affected area, and the timely arrival saved the day and the hoodlums were successfully repelled, and the facility was saved.
“We have commenced intelligence already, and we hope to unravel the persons behind the attack.”
Troops repel attack, eliminate scores of terrorists/bandits in Sokoto — Official
By Gistflash News
Sept 27, 2021
Troops of Operation Hadarin Daji, in conjunction with other security agencies have eliminated scores of Islamic States for West African Province (ISWAP) terrorists and bandits in Sokoto State.
Defence Headquarters said on Monday in Abuja.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Benjamin Sawyer.
He said the terrorists were eliminated during a foiled attack on the Forward Operation Base (FOB) at Burkusuma, a remote border settlement with Niger Republic in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.
“The aggressive operations of troops of the FOB as witnessed in recent months in the North West region, had been a thorn in the flesh of ISWAP terrorists and bandits.”
Sawyer stated that the attackers who came in large numbers using telecom network provided from neighboring country, capitalised on the lean rear area protection force.
“This was when the main troops were out conducting offensive operations within their area of responsibility.’’
He disclosed that, the troops recorded an undisclosed number of casualties during the encounter.
“However, the swift reinforcement by own troops helped to counter the attack as many of the ISWAP fighters were eliminated, while some scrambled with various degrees of injuries.
“Troops are currently in hot pursuit of the criminals to Bassira in Niger Republic,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nigerian and Nigerien forces in a collaborative operation are currently trailing the remaining ISWAP fighters.
“General security within the FOB and its environs has been stabilised,” he said.
Arms proliferation: Navy urges FG to build walls across borders
By Gistflash News
Sept 27, 2021
The Nigerian Navy has urged the Federal Government to build a wall across the country’s borders to stop proliferation of arms and ammunition.
Commodore Jemima Malafa, who represented the Nigerian Navy, said this during an interactive session on four bills pending before the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence on Monday in Abuja.
“We should build a wall between our country and the neighbouring countries,” she said.
“I was in Chad recently and discovered that most of the countries that surround us do not have armouries and that is why most of their citizens get arms that they sell to make money.
“I blame foreign countries that sold and donated arms and ammunition for them without recourse to where they would keep them after use.
“It is as a result of this that Nigeria is in deep crisis; these arms and ammunition will always find their way to Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the four bills – the first is a bill for an act to establish the National Commission against the proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons.
Others are a bill for an act to repeal the Explosives Act, and bill for an act to make provision for the integration of private Close Circuit Television (CCTV) into the national security network in Nigeria.
The last one is a bill for an act to designate the month of November as the National Appreciation Month for Security Agencies.
Mr Shehu Ahmed, representative of the Department of Security Service (DSS) in his contribution said the proposed bill for the establishment of the commission was commendable.
He, however, said that the appointment of members to be in charge of the commission should have nothing to do with politics because of the sensitive nature of the commission.
He said that the Director-General of the commission should not be encumbered with too much power, adding that people of questionable characters should not be allowed to work in such office.
He called for the independence of the commission, adding that henceforth, it did not have to source for staff from other security agencies.
He said that on CCTV, all the security agencies should have access to it to aide investigation of any kind, adding that the explosive act bill would help achieve the desired national security.
Commodore Friday Ogohi, a representative of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) said that the bill on National Commission would help in the effective control of light weapons.
He said that the structure of the commission should be hinged on command and control, adding that membership should be drawn from existing security agencies based on experience.
He said that though the supervising ministry was not indicated in the proposed bill, adding that it was advisable that the Ministry of Defence oversaw the commission.
Ogohi also called for the establishment of special court to arrest the menace of arms smugglers and illegal arms, stressing that the CCTV would further boost the fight against bandits and other criminality.
According to him, public places such as schools, churches and work places should be considered for CCTV as this will help to monitor the activities of scavengers by security agencies.
Air Commodore Olasunkami Abu, who represented the Chief of Air Staff, said that proliferation of arms was posing a great threat to Nigeria’s socio-economic development.
He said that this portends a great danger to national security, adding that membership of the commission should be drawn from the armed forces and the immigration.
NAN reports that other security agencies that made presentation are the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, among others.
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