Banditry: Group warns elites, political class against escalation in North-West

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From Sola Ojo, Kaduna

The Arewa Elders Initiatives and Interactive Group on Monday warned elites and political class in the North-West to put a stop to the escalation of banditry in the region and support working strategies and tactics employed by the government to make the region peaceful once again.

Specifically, the group was not happy that some elites are trying to defend some confessed informants who were arrested in connection with the ongoing nefarious activities of bandits in the region, especially in Zamfara State under human rights syndrome.

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The group in a statement by its National Chairman, Hon Alhassan Ado Gwadabe started after a two-day interactive session with some selected non-governmental organisations in Kaduna tagged “Emerging Challenges Facing the North-West and Issues Behind Success of the Fight Against Banditry and Kidnapping ahead of 2023 Elections’’.

The group also commended the security formula employed by the Governor of Zamfara state, Muhammad Bello Matawalle, to address the issue of saboteurs (Informants) which is believed to slow down the end to banditry and other criminal activities in the Northwestern part of the country.

The group further noted that the new strategies employed by Matawalle include arrests of informants, shutting down networks, banning of the sale of fuel and exposing collaborators in communities, demolishing of their structures and removal of traditional rulers or community leaders who are accused of connivance and negligence is positively restoring peace in the region.

“We, therefore, condemned in totality the alleged accusation of some politicians who are supporting the recent court case initiated by one informant who admitted to having been collaborating, supporting and providing information to bandits in the region on the ground of human rights violation.

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“With this court case, it has become imperative that certain elites and politicians are behind the escalation of such attacks despite FG and states efforts toward achieving desired goals of the success of the fight against insecurity challenges and flushing bandits and their collaborators.

“With the recent development, the Zamfara Governor was vindicated that some elites and political class in Zamfara and Sokoto state are culpable and collaborators for the escalation of banditry activities in Zamfara and Sokoto states respectively. They are the true enemies of the success of the fight against insecurity or trying to publicized the fight of insecurity in the region for selfish interest.

“We advise governors of Kebbi, Niger, Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto and Katsina States to organise a special retreat and stakeholders town hall meeting in Gusau for greater discussions and views about such challenges ahead of the 2023 political activities.

“To us, emulating methods used by the Zamfara state government are yielding positive results, exposing some Informants hideouts, assisting in the strategic way of the fight against insecurity challenges in the state that has now brought it down drastically compared to records. There is a relative improvement of peaceful atmosphere and free movement of people and activities in certain troubled places that are hitherto no-go place”, Alhasan said.

The group called on President Muhammadu Buhari, Service Chiefs and governors of the region to come up with new strategies and tactics that could ensure absolute success in the ongoing fight against insecurity challenges facing people in the area, especially with the recent reports of the escalation of banditry activities and killing of innocent people in some part of Niger and Kebbi states.

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