By Suleman Ahmad Tudu
The persistent attacks such as that of Kuryar Madaro, Sakajiki, Wanzamai, Magami and many other parts of Zamfara state while the security circumscription order was still in force are worrisome to say the least. These attacks are proving that these measures put in place to address the deteriorating menace were defective despite the hardships inflicted on the law abiding citizens.
I have Initially in my article tittled, “the recent banditry attacks in Zamfara are kicks of a dying horse” supported these measures hoping that there will be massive and simultaneous military operations in the affected states to significantly degraded those beasts if not completely eliminated (the link of the article is provided in the comments section below). But unfortunately, the federal government show very unimpressive commitments by failing to deploy more and reasonable number of our gallant troops to this troubled part of the country in order to make these measures effective. It seems like the blood, freedom from slavery from the hands of bandits and well-being of Zamfarawa are good for nothing and not worth protecting by President Buhari’s led federal government.
The initial commitments shown by Zamfara state government in the first two weeks of the order have also declined significantly: the task force committee has appears to have stop functioning: the state Ministry for Security and Home Affairs is almost playing no role on the issue. There is no regular reviews to assess performance and no proper updates (communication) on the progress being made that will restore the confidence of the people if positive; or further draw the attention of the FG if negative (just like what similar Ministry in Kaduna is doing under Mr Samuel Aruwan). No condolences or support to the victims, no palliatives to cushion the effects of these hard measures, no reassuring. Nothing!
The audacious and unchallenged movement of bandits carrying firearms to a far distance away from their camps to carry out their atrocities — to kill; to kidnap; to rape; to maim; to ransack communities; to collect levies — and go back safely speak volumes. Its a strong indication that the ban on telecom network services and sales of fuel is useless to the bandits; it exposed lack of enough boots on the ground to enforce law and order and protects lives and property of innocent citizens across the state; and it reveals how majority of our local communities have bowed-down to be enslaved by bandits terrorists.
In the whole of Birnin Magaji local government (where I come from) for instance, security agents are nowhere to be found except in the Headquarters of the local government where they were scantly stationed. This is a local government that consist of 10 political wards and over 140 scattered settlements. This clear absence of authority in these remote areas is confirming the allegations that almost all Zamfara villages are currently under the control of bandits.
The credible information on the arson of setting farm products of the farmers ablaze by bandits is another prove that the closure of markets aimed at starving those criminals is also defective. It only affects the livelihoods of the helpless and hopeless masses. Common sense wouldn’t believe that someone who is hungry to advertently destroy food instead of looting it. If bandits are hungry, they will also not collect harvesting taxes from farmers instead of the harvested assorted food stuff — or; they should have simultaneously committed both crimes.
For these reasons mentioned and the classified ones unmentioned here, its high time to restore telecom network services and re-opens all weekly markets across the 14 local government areas of Zamfara state while maintaining the prior ban on the sale of animals. Restoring telecom services would assist vulnerable communities to seek for urgent help from neighboring communities and from security agents whenever there is an attack. It will also help the local people to share credible intelligence with the security agencies. However, reopening markets will ease the recent economic hardships as many people rely on markets as a means for daily survival.
The issue of reopening of schools accross the state is a critical issue that I can’t risk advising government to do at the moment considering the fact that terror attacks didn’t stop and it appears government has no any proactive plan to ensure safety of the school children and staff when all the schools have been reopened. Though, I still failed to understand how Gov Matawalle APC faction have managed to conduct the purported congresses accross all the 147 political wards when majority of them are no-go-areas and while all our schools including those in the urban areas remain closed due to deteriorating security challenges in the state?
May Allah see us through. Amin.
By Suleman Ahmad Tudu