By Suleman Ahmad Tudu

It’s very sad that despite the new stringent measures taken by Zamfara state gov’t and some neighboring states to contain security challenges bedevilling Northwest, those bandits still have the audacity to attack a secondary school, abducts 73 students and block Wanzamai-Tsafe road, today, in Zamfara.

Actually, every decision has its own consequences. As such, I consider these renewed attacks as a repercussions of these necessary but difficult anti-banditry measures. These attacks are also strong indications that the beasts are now feeling the pains for the measures taken and could launch more attacks in protest. These attacks are nothing but a kicks of dying horse as we are winning the war!

But it’s not yet time to prematurely celebrate the unripe success. While hoping and praying fervently for better outcomes, government should also prepares for the worse and be very proactive to safeguard the helpless law-abiding citizens. The alleged threats by Turji to unleash mayhem on Shinkafi communities for the refusal of the local people to protest against these security measures should not be taken lightly. Government have no reason to not take them serious and must do everything humanly possible within its powers to protect lives; even if it means a temporary relocation and merging of identified vulnerable communities.

A lot of people have recently expressed their views on the effectiveness of recent development. Some wondered how government can effectively cut-off food and fuel supply to bandits when it failed to prevent them from procuring arms and ammunitions which are much more difficult to get than ordinary food and fuel which is being sold in almost every local market, while others are concerned with more hardships these measures would further plunged the masses, majority of which are living hand-to-mouth. They are all right to some extent. I still maintain the view that these measures will Insha Allah, yield desired results but ONLY when these measures were followed with massive, offensive and sustained military operations.

It’s quite reassuring to note that so far, Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, Niger and Sokoto have adopted a uniformed strategy and hopefully, Kebbi state would cooperate very soon. This is a sign of a common and coordinated commitments necessary to prosecute this war. All thanks to governor Matawalle.

I learnt that “starvation” is the policy used by Nigerian government to win civil war in 1970. It was similar workable policy introduced here today, which I believe is very relevant. These bandits needs food more than they need arms, and they use fuel more frequently to carry their atrocities than they use bullets. By cutting off the supplies of these items, their activities must be reduced drastically and starvation will certainly hit them. There’s no better time to intensify offensive military operations than now – when those bandits are starving and running out of supply!

On the part of the fellow innocent masses also affected by these measures. There is some little advantage and relief that we’re now in the harvesting season. Government and Humanitarian organisations should also intervene to provide succour to the people.

To strengthen these measures, the Federal Government should take the charge of coordinating this war and also send more troops to this troubled part of the country in order to crush those terrorists. The affected states should also set up a Task Force committees in their various states and establish a Joint Task Force to ensure compliance and proper coordination. These measures should be subjected to a weekly reviews to evaluate progress and consider lifting them on phases when and where deemed safe.

All these would not be possible without understanding, sacrifice and maximum cooperation from the general public. We should kindly cooperate for our overall interests. Let’s give government a benefits of doubts.

May Allah guide our leaders right and help our security forces. May Allah see us through. Amin.