By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
Following former President Abdulsalami Ababakar’s revelation that over six million arms are in circulation among civilians and non state actors across Nigeria, a cross-section of concerned stakeholders drawn from the NorthWest Geo Political Zone, have raised an alarm over Governor of Zamfara State’s peace deal with bandits.
The stakeholders at a World Press Conference in Kaduna on Thursday, led by Malam Suleiman Yusuf, wondered how the governor could go into a deal with armed and criminal bandits, who have been committing heinous crimes of murder, rape, plunder, kidnapping and robbery over the years.
They question the intention of the governor to act in that manner thereby creating a safe haven for crime to thrive, adding “we demand justice for the victims, and criticised the blanket amnesty enjoyed by criminals who should be investigated and prosecuted.
“Under Governor Matawalle’s Peace deal, bandits have found safe haven in Zamfara State from where they plan attacks in other states.
“We observed gaps in Governor Matawalle’s Peace deal with the bandits and demanded that the Governor should make public a Comprehensive Report on the legal and administrative process, Terms and Conditions, list of beneficiaries, and the financial implication of the Peace Deal per person This, according to the stakeholders, would lead to transparency and accountability from which lessons can be drawn.”
They called on the governor to as matter of urgency work closely with Law Enforcement, Security and Intelligence agencies to ensure that Mr. President’s decisions are fully implemented towards the success of the Internal Security Operations against banditry.
“Taking a closer look at the security situation in the North West, the Stakeholders called for a Uniform Strategy in the North WestZone to ensure that criminals who commit crimes in one Statedo not run from justice through a peace deal in another State.
“Emphasising the need for a criminal justice approach, stakeholders called for the strengthening of investigation, criminal profiling, information sharing, prosecution and the restoration of basic governance to address banditry.
“The Stakeholders appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent restructuring of the nation’s security architecture, the shoot at-sight order on unlawful bearing of AK 47, the banning of illegal mining and imposition of No Fly Zone in Zamfara State.
“With these strategic decisions, the Stakeholders insisted that Nigeria’s national security interests supersedes the interest of any politician or political group and will not stand by and watch any politician politicise efforts geared towards dealing with insecurity.’ Mallam Suleman added.
The stakeholders called on all Nigerians to support the ArmedForces, the Nigerian Police and other security agencies who sacrifice so that we may be secured.
They added “we condemned the attacks on security agents in the South East and call on Nigerians from the region to condemn these attacks and work with security agencies to curtail them.
“As Nigeria moves gradually towards elections in year 2023, politicians were also warned to desist from politicising security threats, warning that doing so only serves as a distraction to the challenging work that securityofficers are expected to accomplish.”