• Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Zamfara Governor’s lamentation and the legal ‘stammering’ in Rivers

Why insecurity persists in Zamfara, despite efforts – Dauda Lawal

The insecurity situation in the country has become so intense that even the rich are crying. Right now, the Governor of Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal, is teary-eyed. The menace of bandits in his state and the seeming unwillingness of the powers that be to put them to rout, are giving the governor serious migraine. He strongly believes that with the right political will to do the needful, two weeks would be more than enough to have total sanity in the country.

The judges in Rivers seem to be using the political crisis in the state to learn some aspects of the jurisprudence they were not taught in school. But they must allow the Rivers’ people to breathe!

A lot of negative stories associated with insecurity have been coming out of Zamfara State. I hope you have not forgotten that it was in that state that an Emir appointed a so-called repentant bandit a monarch in Yandoto town, the headquarters of the emirate, at a colourful ceremony.

“In fact, insecurity worsened in the state during the tenure of Matawalle, which made his appointment as minister of state for Defence, shocking and controversial.”

That was in July 2022, at the height of abduction cases going on in schools across the state.

Since 2021, when bandits abducted over 279 female students aged between 10 1ne 17 at the Government Girls’ Science Secondary School, a boarding school in Jangede, several other similar cases have continued to take place.

Violent abductions of innocent citizens have continued on a monthly basis in Zamfara, till date.

Zamfara State has witnessed an increase in attacks by bandits carrying out cattle rustling, mass kidnapping, and killings.

Read also: “They don’t show up when needed”, Zamfara governor laments police, military’s attitude to banditry

Despite the inability of former governor Bello Matawalle to halt the menace and to defend his subjects from the predatory activity of bandits, he was rather rewarded with a bigger national post as a minister of state for Defence.

In fact, insecurity worsened in the state during the tenure of Matawalle, which made his appointment as minister of state for Defence, shocking and controversial.

His appointment however, has not impacted positively on the security of his state as Zamfara has remained a den of bandits.

Those in doubt should contact the state Governor, Dauda Lawal for an update on the state of affairs in the state, security-wise.

When he appeared on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, Lawal pointedly said that if there was will power on the part of the military top brass and the government, insecurity in Zamfara can be resolved in two weeks.

“Let me say this categorically, if we are committed, if we are serious, you can take care of this situation in two weeks maximum. I’m telling you, in two weeks you can take care of this situation, but the political will is not there,” he said.

He also said that the security agents do not respond promptly whenever the need arises. “When you need these people. “They will be nowhere to be found,” he said.

Governor Lawal said that he had also met with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on the insecurity challenge in his state.

“I had to explain everything to him, what we are going through and what needs to be done because Zamfara State has become the home of banditry in Nigeria or in Northern Nigeria. If you are able to take care of Zamfara today, believe me you have solved more than 90 percent of the banditry issue in northern Nigeria as a whole,” the governor said.

For years, Zamfara has become a safe haven for bandits. They feed into Katsina, Kaduna, Niger and Sokoto States where they wreak havoc on a consistent basis.

Sadly, government action has been reduced to mere moaning and feeble threats. It has not mustered the courage to convert threats to real action to put the enemies to rout.

Nigerians would want to see that usual bile the military excretes to revenge the killing of its soldiers.

We have seen the military’s red eyes in Okuama, Delta State and Obikabia Junction in Aba, Abia State, following the recent cruel murder of their personnel, but it beats many Nigerians hollow why the same Military seemingly does not evoke that same venom against the bandits in Zamfara and other places up North.

Read also: Police arrest Zamfara Legislator, LG chairman in connection to banditry

These bandits are seen walking freely with dangerous weapons. They now impose levies on the people to allow them to go to farm. They also kill security agents. So, why is there no political will to end their satanic enterprise?

The Zamfara Governor seemed to be so sure of what he was saying that he continued to repeat, all through the interview session, that with total commitment on the part of the military, “two weeks is more than enough to end banditry” in Zamfara and all issues relating to insecurity across the country.

He said that “everything has gone political,” adding that it would seem that even the security agents had been told not to cross certain lines. The question is, who gave that order?

He strongly believes that if the Military means to tackle the insecurity scourge in the country, particularly, the problem of banditry in Zamfara and other states, it would be a walk over because, “We know where these people live. They live among the people: why is it difficult to take them out?”

Governor Lawal pointedly said that the Minister of State for Defence was not pulling his weight on his job, saying “if that is happening, we are not seeing it.”

The late General Sani Abacha said: “Any insurgency that lasts more than 24 hours, a government official has a hand in it.”

Could that be the case with the problem of insecurity in Nigeria? Why has the challenge become intractable? Has the country come to perpetually live with the problem of ransom-inspired abduction/kidnapping, wanton killing of innocent citizens, including soldiers and policemen?

What is the essence of all the security summits and conferences hosted by government institutions and other stakeholders if they are not able to lead to the crushing of the enemies of the state?

How is it that bandits on a long convoy of motorcycles invade communities and successfully abduct hundreds of people, and they go unchallenged by security agents? This is an everyday experience in parts of the North. This is why Governor Lawal believes that there must be more to what is going on than meets the eye.

Read also: War of words as Rivers’ ex-attorney general, Wogu Boms, berates Edwin Clark

The legal ‘stammering’ in Rivers

Rivers has been in political turmoil since last year when the crisis over who controls what began. The immediate past governor and currently the minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike believes he should have a say in how his political son, Sim Fubara, goes about the business of governance in the state.

But Fubara says that though he wouldn’t mind allowing his godfather to have a say, the suffocation was becoming too much. For those who did not know, almost all the people in the first constituted cabinet of Fubara were appointed by Wike. They were to be his eyes in the government while he still calls the shots at the FCT.

So, as the push became shove, and Fubara, initially thought to be a fowl without teeth, suddenly grew teeth overnight, the rhythm of the music changed.

Twenty-seven lawmakers elected on the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), without provocation, suddenly emptied themselves into the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the prompting of their political leader, Wike. A number of commissioners also resigned en masse.

Now, the courts are giving various interpretations depending on the aspect of the law they have read. With their controversial judgments, they have fouled the air in Rivers.

On May 10, 2024, a High Court in Port Harcourt had barred the factional Speaker, Martin Chile Amaewhule and 24 others loyal to Wike, from parading themselves as members of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

But last Monday, another judgement from a High Court in the state declared that Amaewhule and 26 other lawmakers that defected from the PDP to the APC were still members of the PDP.

The presiding judge held that the claimants failed to prove that Amaewhule and 26 other lawmakers had moved to the APC, saying that defection cannot be established through newspaper publications, radio announcements, or online publications as tendered by the claimants. PDP over to you!

Well, whatever political interpretation, judges must let the people of Rivers State breathe!