Tunde Bolaji – , Minna
Worried by the raising security challenges in about nine local government areas in Niger state of recent, a Coalition for Public Interest Group has appealed to President Mohammadu Buhari to give special attention to the situation in the Niger.
It noted that the state is by landmass the biggest in Nigeria, and its proximity to the seat of power (Abuja), should call for concern.
Reacting to the spate of killings and destructions in the state, occasioned by incessant bandit attacks, the coalition lamented that more than nine local government areas in the state, including among others, Shiroro, Rafi, Munya, Tafa, Lapai, Borgu, Mariga, and Paikoro have been ravaged by bandits and kidnappers, who killed, raped and abducted on daily basis.
Expressing their concern at a press briefing in Minna on Tuesday, Spokesperson of the coalition, Mohammed Saidu Etsu noted that the communities sacked by the bandits have all lost their means of livelihood .
Etsu regretted that the federal government has been paying lip service to the criminal attacks of the people without any tangible steps towards stopping the menace.
According the group spokesperson “Nigerlites who have been up and doing to see the criminals are out of our society without fear of any contradiction assert that the federal government is only paying lip service to our misfortunes.
‘As we speak bandits are having a field day in our communities. They attack at will without any form of resistance from the security forces. Annoyingly too, the Government is aware of where these criminals are camped and their routes of operations.
‘If the primary purpose of government is to protect lives and properties, the reverse is the case in our dear State’.
Etsu explained that a situation where a governor of a state cannot command a police constable considering our peculiarities is no longer acceptable. The state government should continue with its logistics support to the vigilantes across the state so that they can continue with their community services”.
He challenged the traditional rulers to do the needful by giving adequate support on areas of information to the security agencies so that we can wipe out criminals in our community.
He bemoaned that “our people are dying and we cannot fold our arms and watch”.
The Coalition appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to heed the call of well meaning Nigerians to change the security architecture of the country, because there is no better time than now.
” A situation where community resorts to self help has shown definitely there is failure of leadership.
“We are calling on well meaning Nigerlites that on Monday 17″ February 2020 everybody should be on black cloth and hold special prayer in any location they are in this country”.
According to him,”we specially emphasize that failure to heed this call or any escalation of the crisis beyond what it is now may spell doom, as we are strategically located in the map of Nigeria”.