Following measures to tackle insecurity in the Northern part of Nigeria, the coalition of over 52 northern groups on Sunday in Abuja has reportedly urged residents of Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Niger states, to protect themselves against terrorists who might want to attack or impose levies and taxes on them.
This was reportedly stated by the National Coordinator of CNG, Balarabe Rufa’i, in a press conference.
According to him, “The Coalition of Northern Groups has reviewed the resurgence of violent attacks across some northern states in recent days with deep concern.”
He noted that, “We are deeply disturbed by the despicable and irrepressible decimation and elimination of our people; the destruction of their livelihood; raping and exploitation of our women and extorting our poverty-stricken villages and towns by terrorists.”
He disclosed that, “In the last few days, armed bandits/terrorists across four northern states of Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Niger States have killed scores of helpless and defenseless citizens in addition to multiple kidnappings and other forms of exploitations. Regrettably, these killings, abductions, maiming and exploitations have been going on incessantly with no respite in sight.”
He posited that, “In view of the above happenings, the CNG observed that: governments at all levels, particularly the Federal Government has surrendered their rights and privileges to the bandits/terrorists as the bandits/terrorists operate parallel governments in villages and communities in Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Niger states where they impose taxes and levies on the villages and kill people at will.”
He remarked that, “Governments and its functionaries lack the political will and determination to decisively deal with the problems once and for all. The security forces are grossly understaffed, ill-equipped and poorly motivated to confront the monstrous terrorists in an aggressive manner to eliminate them from their hideouts. It is also alleged that top security personnel are siphoning the little resources earmarked for the purpose of prosecuting the war.”
He maintained that, “Therefore, the CNG calls on traditional rulers to stand with their people at this difficult and scaring situation to confront the challenge for our collective survival.”
Rufa’i made it known that “Communities must work together under the traditional institutions, religious leaders and community leaders to source for alternative method of preserving and protecting their lives, properties and communities as our security architecture proves incapacitated and or reluctant to decisively and resolutely deal with the problem.”
He opined that, “Unfortunately, the political leaders who are supposed to protect our lives and properties are busy with their politicking without showing an iota of sympathy and empathy for the plight of our people. The CNG, therefore, advocates concerted and strategic efforts to create an independent-community based security outfit that can be funded through community efforts, donations from wealthy individuals, friends and associates of the North among others to take the war against this eminent existential threat to the hideouts of the hardened criminals.”
He continued that, “We reiterate our call to the traditional and religious leaders because of their proximity to the people and the trust they enjoy from our people that they must lead from the front by setting an example; they should create and manage a special trust-fund to support the community-based outfit.”
The coordinator however restated that, “Hence, our people must rise up in an organized manner and defend themselves from the systematic and genocidal annihilation; plundering of their resources and extortions by their terrorist-enemies.”
He emphasized that, “We call on the Federal Government as a matter of urgency; to rescind this unpopular and dictatorial decision that has no place in democratic governance. It is important we remind the government that it rode on the fundamental right of freedom of expression to capture power. It is therefore expected that the government will reciprocate by championing freedom of speech and expression for all Nigerians without fear or favour.”