Insecurity: ACF charges FG to sit up
• Urges Foreign Assistance
• Laud Gumi Over Release Of Kidnap Victims
Arewa leaders, under the aegis of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), while lamenting the pervasive insecurity in the country, especially in the north, have called on the Federal Government to sit up, saying “it is a terrible thing that this is happening in the country today and this trend should not be allowed to continue.”
The ACF charged the government to take adequate steps now to curtail the state of insecurity in the country, adding: “It behoves on the government to ensure that these criminal activities in the country are put to an end. Governments, both the federal and states, should sit up, especially here in the north, where this problem is getting out of hand. They keep harassing students whose only fault is that they have gone to school.
“We cannot continue this way. Enough is enough. As ACF, we are really sad that the north is backward and this problem is added to it. We call on the government to sit up and immediately seek foreign assistance, particularly the United Nations (UN), in fighting the present insurgency, banditry and kidnapping that have claimed the lives of scores of Nigerians.”
They also lauded the efforts of an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, towards securing the release of the students and others abducted in Niger State.
Besides, the ACF blamed northern governors over the escalating level of insecurity in the region due to disagreement and ego on how best to combat the security challenges in the north.
ACF National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, said: “The release of the students in Niger State by the kidnappers is a good development, provided ransom was not paid. We are of the opinion that anything that can get the students out of captivity is good.
“But we hope no ransom was paid because this ransom issue will encourage the armed bandits further in their criminal work. Immediately they get ransom, they get more empowered.”
While calling for immediate foreign involvement to end the crisis in the country, the ACF said it was evident that the Nigerian government has been overwhelmed by the current security challenges in Nigeria.
Yawe argued: “You know, for example, when one soul was kidnapped last time, the United States (US) government came to rescue that victim. Here, people in large numbers are kidnapped and the government is helpless. That is what is making us be sad.
“The Minister of Defence was saying that people should confront them. How can people confront them when the criminals are heavily armed and the people have no arms? And by Nigerian law, you are not permitted to carry arms. How can we, as a people, confront the kidnappers and bandits? It is the government that should confront them; that is why they are there to defend the people.
“There is nothing wrong with the government seeking outside help now. How did American soldiers come all that way to rescue only one person and we cannot rescue our people that were captured?
“How many girls were captured from Chibok? How many girls were captured in Yobe, Katsina, the President’s home state, and now Niger State? This is very sad and embarrassing.”
Yawe continued: “We support the government to seek external help. Nigeria itself had offered help to other countries in the past to solve their internal problems, and we have excelled as a country.
“I don’t know why the government cannot seek external help to address our problem, since the government cannot handle it. It is now frightening to have children in schools and kidnappers start capturing them.
“We should cry out for help to any country since we cannot handle this problem ourselves and have also told the world by our action that we cannot handle it.”
The group also condemned the incapability of the northern governors to proffer solutions to banditry, kidnappings and other forms of criminal activities in the region, saying: “We, at the ACF, are getting disappointed at the level we are now on combating insecurity in the north if northern governors are disagreeing among themselves on the security issue.
“Instead of putting their heads together, coming out with a solution, everybody is now saying a different thing. Some are saying people should be allowed to carry arms, some are saying no negotiation with bandits and some are saying there should be negotiated with them.
“It is very difficult to find a solution when a group of people like the northern governors starts disagreeing. They have Northern State Governors’ Forum; they should sit down and have a common solution to the crisis at hand. They are spending so much energy fighting themselves, instead of fighting the enemy.
“We believe that for there to be the solution to the present crisis, the northern governors must sit together and come out with one voice in fighting insurgency, banditry and kidnapping.
“This issue of fighting themselves in the media will not help anybody.”