Insecurity in Zamfara: The untold story

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By Salis Muhammad Moriki

Insecurity has been one of the major problems terrorising the corporate existence of Nigeria and scuttling the supposed development in many facets of human endeavour within the states of the federation. Insecurity ranges from Boko Haram to Niger Delta militancy to IPOB and very recently to rustling and kidnapping.
There is virtually no Nigerian state that has not been disturbed by one of these monsters. In Borno and Yobe states we have Boko Haram, Niger Delta region, militancy, Southeast, IPOB, Southwest, OPC/Badoo, Kaduna state, kidnapping, in Benue, there’s Fulani and farmers clash, Plateau, Taraba, Nasarawa, Adamawa, communal clashes and ZAMFARA, Katsina states and few others, rustling.
Security is everybody’s business, irrespective of his social, economic or political status. From the social angle, the people must provide the government/security agencies with all the relevant information regarding any suspicious personality or movement in their domain. While those with financial capability have to contribute the little they can afford as part of their social responsibility towards provision of security in the state.
Despite the fact that defence/security falls under the EXCLUSIVE list in the Nigeria’s constitution, namely, solely in the hands of the federal government, the states and local governments have to come in, in whatever capacity to assist the federal government in discharging that responsibility in order to have effective security for the lives and property of the citizenry.
That’s why each and every governor or local government chairman is called the chief security officer of his state or local government, as the case may be. But that doesn’t mean the security agencies in their states or council receive directives from them or answerable to them. They are federal government apparatus, therefore, answerable to the president and receive orders from him. And any failure from this aspect, all the stakeholders, according to constitutional responsibility, should be held responsible, but not the state government in particular, as some opposition or political jingoists want us to believe, just for their vested and political interest
It is the responsibility of the state government, though, not constitutional, to complement the efforts of these security agencies in their respective states by way of provisions of available equipment that will help them discharge their constitutional duties to curtailing the menace of criminal in the society. This includes provisions of mobility, communication gadgets, welfare and any other equipment/information within the scope and confines of the law. If the state government does this, it has discharged what is supposed to do within the context of Nigerian set up. The rest is left for the security agencies and other stakeholders to make sure lives and property of Nigerians are protected.
In the case of security challenges in Zamfara state, does the state government under the able leadership of Governor Abdulazeez Yari Abubakar come in, in such a way to assist the security agencies facilitate their job? Alas! Zamfara state government has judiciously and religiously tried in many capacities within its limit to assist the security agencies in the state. The Zamfara state government has donated more than 350 vehicles to the security agencies in the state, motor circles, etc. This is with the exception of financial and other necessary assistance it has been providing to our security agencies in many different times. And according to many sources, there was no submission or requests from the security agencies to the state government that Governor Abdulazeez Yari Abubakar wouldn’t entertain with immediate effect and great importance attached to it. Also, the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) in the state under the able chairmanship of Alh. Bello Dankande and Aliyu Abubakar Tsafe MC are not left behind in their respective capacities.
Zamfara state is one of the few states in the federation where the government snappily responds to security requests within its capacity and jurisdiction. It is hard to see a state in Nigeria, North in particular, where a state government responds to/and have cordial understanding with security agencies more than Zamfara state. If a state government contributes its part in such a way, it should be commended not blamed.
Security is everybody’s business as mentioned above, but there are others who are constitutionally responsible for it, like the federal government and complemented by state and local governments together with other stakeholders. I am now glad that the federal government or President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Inspector General of Police and the military for full operation to bring the terrorists to their knees in Zamfara state. I also see our senators from the state in the National Assembly tabling the issue on the flow of the NASS. This is long overdue. But we hope all the stakeholders would come together and find a lasting solution to this menace. More over, we have to stop politicising the issue. Security issue is much more than that. Anyone that has what to contribute in resolving this problem but refuses to do so, he is a party to the atrocity.
May Allah come to our rescue!

Moriki writes in from Kaduna

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