Chukwudi Akasike, Samson Folarin, Dayo Ojerinde, Godwin Isenyo, Kayode Idowu, Daniels Igoni, Umar Muhammed and Kayode Idowu
THE Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar-led Jama’atu Nasril Islam has urged the Federal Government under the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to henceforth stop paying lip service to security matters.
This was as the Nigerian Governors’ Forum stated that the military would not be able to cope with the current security challenges in the country.
In an apparent reference to the killings of 43 rice farmers by the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents in Borno State, the JNI also said that “nowhere is safe in the country now”.
The religious body noted that what Nigerians expected from the government was actions against insecurity and not mere condemnation of attacks.
The JNI spoke through its Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Aliyu, in a statement issued in Kaduna on Wednesday.
The statement was titled, ‘Press release: Requiem for Zabarmari’.
“We nevertheless, once again call on the Federal Government to rise up to its responsibilities and do well beyond the traditional condemnation, as lip service (s) on security matters should stop. Nigerians are desperately yearning for concrete actions,” the JNI said.
Specifically, the religious body said Saturday’s killings at Zabarmari village, Jere Local Government Area of over 40 rice farmers by the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents without intervention of security forces was condemnable.
It noted that with wanton killings occasioned by acts of banditry, kidnapping for ransom and other related crimes, Nigerians had been so terrified as nowhere was safe for them.
The group also knocked the Federal Government’s nonchalant attitude to sympathise with victims of the attack, noting that a prompt visit to the area would assuage the feelings of the affected communities.
The JNI statement read in part, “Forty-three human beings as reported by the media were slaughtered without any intervention by the security forces in the area. The senseless act stands condemned in the strongest of terms.
“Wanton killings, acts of banditry, kidnapping for ransom, high rate of unemployment among the youths, rape and all forms of terrorism have now become the new trend in our communities.
“Nigerians have become so much terrified, as nowhere is safe; the home, the farms and the roads. Bandits now rule in many communities; they set rules that must be obeyed.”
N’East devt crucial, says UN
Meanwhile, the United Nations has said stabilising and developing the troubled North-East Nigeria is not crucial to Nigeria alone but the entire Sahelian sub-region.
The UN in a statement on Wednesday issued after the visit of its Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, to Zabarmari, Borno State, to condole with the families of the farmers killed by Boko Haram on Kashobe rice field, lamented that many farmers were missing and a lot of women abducted by the insurgents.
Kallon, in a statement on Wednesday, said, “There is no word to describe how I feel after my visit to Zabarmari communities yesterday (Tuesday).
“More bodies are being recovered. Farmers have also reported some of the missing women may have been abducted. I call for these innocent women and girls to be immediately released and for their safe return to their communities.”
Military can’t cope with security challenges – Governors
Similarly, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, said that the nation’s security challenges were beyond the Nigerian military, insisting that they (military) were overwhelmed and could not single-handedly handle security challenges.
Fayemi noted that the multitude of security situation affecting many parts of the country, including insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and armed robbery, had overdrawn the military
Speaking in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital on Tuesday, he said, “I personally as security scholar, the reality I can see is that our military is overwhelmed; our military is no longer in a position to singlehandedly tackle this menace effectively.
“It is not a criticism of our military. If one were to suggest a coalition that will even include our neighbouring countries who are probably more experienced in fighting asymmetrical war, it will not be a loss of our pride as a country.”