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500 Northerners killed in four weeks, CNG claims

By Sodiq Omolaoye, Ernest Nzor (Abuja), Rotimi Agboluaje (Ibadan) and Bala Yahaya (Minna)
07 February 2022   |   2:43 am
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) claims that 500 Northerners were killed in Kaduna, Sokoto, Niger and Zamfara states in four weeks.

[FILES] Kaduna residents

Niger declares 24-hour curfew in Rafi
•Security scholar raises concerns over terrorist financiers statement by FG
•Sincere dialogue will end insecurity, says expert

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) claims that 500 Northerners were killed in Kaduna, Sokoto, Niger and Zamfara states in four weeks.

CNG National Coordinator, Balarabe Rufa’i, at a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, also said that community members in the region paid millions of naira to bandits to stay alive.

“The stories are condemnable and demoralising, as over 500 innocent, defenceless and impoverished Northerners were killed in the last four weeks.

“In view of the above happenings, the CNG observed that governments, at all levels, have surrendered their rights to the bandits/ terrorists, who operate parallel governments in Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Niger communities where they impose taxes and levies on the villages and kill at will.”

Consequently, it called for establishment of regional security outfits to secure defenceless Nigerians.

According to the group, governments and their functionaries lack the political will and determination to decisively deal with insecurity once and for all.

Rufa’i lamented the abduction, exploitation, maiming and killing of citizens, which had been going on in regions with no respite in sight.

MEANWHILE, a 24-hour curfew has been declared in Kagara town, the headquarters of Rafi Local Council of Niger State, as a result of insecurity in the area.

An indigene of the area, who pleaded anonymity, told The Guardian that as of 10a.m. on Saturday, team of soldiers arrived the town and instructed everyone to go back to their houses.

Though at the time of filing this report, details of the curfew was still sketchy and efforts to confirm the report from the spokesman of Niger State Police Command, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, was unsuccessful.
HOWEVER, a security scholar at the University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo State, Prof. Oyesoji Aremu, has said there are concerns about the assertion by the Federal Government that it uncovered financiers and supporters of terrorism.

While lauding the government for the information, the don hinged his doubt on the fact that the government always foot-drag in the issue of terror mentors.

The Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lai Mohammed, had, at a press conference last week, said the government had discovered 96 terrorism financiers as well as 424 associates and supporters of the financiers.
ALSO, an expert in conflict resolution, Jackson Amayo, has said that banditry, terrorism and other forms of insecurity in the country can only be tackled through sincere dialogue.

After receiving an honorary doctorate in Conflict Resolution from the Metropolitan International University (MIU), United States of America, at the weekend, in Abuja, he urged the Federal Government to publish names of terrorism financiers in national dailies.