From Maiharaji Altine Gusau
A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Patriots for the Advancement Of Peace and Social Development (PAPS) has cautioned the Leadership Of the All Progressives Congress(APC) under Mai Mala Buni to desist from playing politics with the security and lives of Nigerians.
Reacting to the statement credited to the APC National Publicity Secretary Yekini Nabena who had urged security agencies to investigate an intelligence report linking an unnamed governor to the increasing wave of armed banditry, abductions and other violent crimes in the zone.
Reacting to the statement Chairman Of PAPs Dr Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi cautioned the Bunu led leadership of the APC to stop playing politics with the lives and properties of Nigerians noting that “Mai Mala Bunu APC National leadership should stop chasing shadows and face the reality.
“It is still fresh in our memory that it was during the mal-administration of former Governor Abdulazeez Yari that armed banditry, cattle rustling, kidnappers and armed robbers held Zamfara State hostage, the Fourteen local government areas and one hundred and forty seven electoral wards were under siege of the armed bandits.
Shinkafi pointed out that “more than one hundred and sixty seven communities and villages were set ablaze by armed bandits without provocation and the villagers rendered homeless and no single Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp was established by the Federal Government or the Yari led state government throughout his tenure . No single relief material was given to the displaced villagers.
“Most of the major markets in Zamfara State were grounded, all the farm lands were deserted by farmers for fear of being kidnapped by the bandits.
There were series of attacks on daily basis and people were massacred and women raped. There was a conspiracy of silence by the APC led federal government and the Yari led administration in Zamfara State” when he was in power for the past eight years he added.
Shinkafi stated that “more than 500,000 livestock was rustled, 6319 people were killed, 3672 persons were kidnapped and over N2.8billion was paid as ransom. Over 6000 women were made widows and 25,000 children orphaned.
If Nabena and the APC are trying to apportion blames to the Governors in the North West as being responsible for the increase in insurgency, then who is responsible for Boko Haram in the North East which is responsible for the kidnapping of innocent people on the Kaduna/Abuja high way and who is responsible in herdmens killing innocent lives in North central ?. They should stop playing politics with the security of lives and property of Nigerians.
“As the Acting National Chairman Of APC when the Chibok girls in Borno and Dapchi girls in Yobe State were abducted which Boko Haram claimed to solely responsible their kidnapping all happened in APC controlled States, he was National Secretary of the APC before his emergence as the Governor Of Yobe State and now the Acting National Chairman Of the party Buni for one day never went to Zamfara State to sympathize with them over the killings in the state”he added.
Shinkafi pointed out that “when the Kankara school boys were kidnapped instead of sympathizing with the parents the party chose to mislead the public by alleging that some Governors Of the North West are responsible for the escalation in armed banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and armed robbery.
Because of the corrupt and careless leadership of Abdulazeez Yari in Zamfara State these vices escalated. It is on record that he is the first Governor to abdicate his responsibility as the Chief Law Officer Of a state as conferred on him by the Constitution but monthly he was taking over N500 million as security votes.
“He was busy junketing around the world while the social, economic and commercial activities in Zamfara state was grounded” he added.
Shinkafi challenged the APC to name the Governor behind banditry in the Northwestern region of Nigeria adding”just recently over 100 youths stormed the Arewa House venue of the security meeting convened by the leadership of the North and disrupted the meeting we would want to know which Governor sent them.
Shinkafi challenged Nabena to name the governor he is alluding to as the sponsor of banditry and sundry crimes in the North-West and provide evidence that he [the governor] is involved in all of that which he alleged.“Otherwise, the security agencies in the country should invite Mr Nabena to provide evidence of his allegation, should assist them in investigating the matter and make sure that justice is done,” he maintained.
He advised all well-meaning Nigerians and political stakeholders to consider human lives first instead of playing to the gallery.According to him, the framers of the Constitution knew why they bestowed much powers, although significantly flawed, in the President to checkmate issues such as those raised by Mr Nabena.
He stated that “playing blame games is not a panacea to the security problem at hand. None of us should play politics with security matters. We should also not play politics with the lives of those we swore to protect. Instead, all hands must be on deck to ensure the collective security of the North and the country in general,” he remarked.