The escalating security situation in Zamfara state in northern Nigeria has led to citizens fleeing the country into neighbouring Niger Republic, a group monitoring the insecurity has said.
The Nigerian government has now been asked by Zamfara Advocates, a coalition of prominent citizens, in a statement on Thursday, to deploy more police and soldiers to stop the killing of residents by bandits that are making them flee their homes and becoming refugees.
“Northern Nigeria with its deep fault lines, of ethnic and religious bigotry, which over the years have been exploited by unscrupulous Nigerians, will stand no chance if things are allowed to deteriorate any further,” said Kadaria Ahmed, on behalf of the group. “There are also immediate, dire consequences if a greater part of our people in the north are not able to farm this season as a result of insecurity.” Ahmed, a popular TV personality said.
Rampant kidnappings and killings in the northwestern state had in April made the Nigerian government to launch a police operation named ‘Operation Puff Adder’, ‘Operation Sharan Daji’ and its military version ‘Operation Harbin Kunama III’ that provided temporary relief to parts of
Zamfara but such operations are “yet to provide lasting relief from the
attacks, abductions and killings.”
“There are now daily reports of these nefarious activities spreading to the neighboring Katsina State forcing communities to relocate to Niger Republic. Existing insecurity in Kaduna State seems to have also intensified with the key Abuja-Kaduna expressway becoming impossible to ply for regular folks.” The group said in an emergency message to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Many abductions have continued in parts of Nigeria especially in the north with armed bandits operating on major highways and local communities.
Nigeria’s police chief, Mohammed Adamu this week told senators at a briefing that Zamfara tops the nation’s crime prevalence rate, while Kaduna comes in second with 112 and Benue state third with 90 people killed in the first quarter of 2019 alone. Majority of these killings and murders are linked to banditry, cattle rustling and communal violence, the police said.
“We are clear that the North is now on a precipice and unless something is done urgently, we will tumble down into the chaos the likes of which there is no coming back from easily. We look fearfully at places like Somalia.”
-Ahmed said on behalf of the group.
They urged President Buhari “to declare a state of emergency on insecurity and examine those he has given the task of securing Nigerian and get rid of those who have shown themselves to be incapable and replace them with those who can demonstrably do the job.”
“The expectations of Nigerians will be met. I will not let them down. I
will continue to do my best”, Buhari had said through a spokesman on
Tuesday, on the insecurity situation in Nigeria.
The president, on Thursday, held a high-level security meeting with the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali; National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, military, intelligence and police chiefs in attendance.