- Political players and public office holders have been accused of masterminding the violence in Zamfara state
- A group says the the rising cases of banditry, kidnapping and killings ravaging the state is the handiwork of prominent people
- The group specifically stated that politicians benefiting from illegal gold mining in Zamfara were the ones sponsoring the endless unrest in the area
A group, Citizens’ Rights Crusade Network (CRCN), on Sunday, May 5, identified political players and public office holders as masterminds of the rising cases of banditry, kidnapping and killings ravaging Zamfara state.
The group specifically stated that politicians benefiting from illegal gold mining in Zamfara were the ones sponsoring the endless unrest in the area.
CRCN, therefore, called on the attention of the international community and relevant security agencies to save Nigerians from the hands of politicians causing unrest in the north-west region.
Convener of the group, Princess Ajibola, while addressing journalists in Abuja, warned that if the killings persist in Nigeria, the entire country faces the prospect of shortages that will result in increased food prices.
Her words: “It is with this sense of alarm that we are calling attention to the security breaches and killings going on in north-west of the country. We should have ordinarily specifically mention Zamfara state where so called bandits have been wasting human life with incessant killings. But efforts by the federal government to curtail them have seen this contracted killers fanning out into Sokoto and Katsina states.
“The potentials are there for them to move further into Kebbi, Kano and just any state where their sponsors direct them to go. This relocation of the killers has been confirmed by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai.
“Our concern is that the north-west is a strategic remnant of food production axes that has not been destabilized by political jobbers that are deploying terrorism to extract political and economic advantage.
“Food supply from the north-east has earlier been reduced by Boko Haram terrorists, who happen to have political backers and sponsors. Food production in the north-central trough has been hampered by killer militias, killer herdsmen and ethno-sectarian violence. That leaves the north-west as the last remaining source of certain categories of food crops and now Zamfara state, politicians in that state, are about plunging the country into hunger.
“It is most unfortunate that it is their greed for gold and illicit revenue from the precious metal is the reason they are prepared to starve the rest of the country to death. While the incessant killings were earlier classified as the handiwork of bandits, it has now been established that the killers were carrying out this killings to protect the illegal mining activities in the area.
“A federal government ban on mining activities in Zamfara state and environs has only sent the killers to commit more acts of violence, apparently on the instruction of their sponsors. Knowing the damage that the Nigerian military is capable of inflicting on them, they have escaped into neighbouring states were they continue to carry out attacks.
“These attacks are as mindless as they are senseless. The only ideology driving it is the instructions they take from the politicians that are sponsoring them. Their victims are random and have no history, connection or contention with the killers. They kill just to create the sense of insecurity that their sponsors crave.”
The group claimed that the politicians are high level serving and former state government officials including some that had held ministerial appointments at the federal level in the past.
They, however, failed to release any names of such persons to the press.
“The incentive for them is that the ongoing or*y of violence in and around Zamfara state has taken national attention away from the illegality of mining natural resources in manners that violate the provisions of the constitution about resource control.
“They possibly believe that while the nation deals with the violence they are sponsoring no one will remember to put them on trial for their crimes. The violence has also allowed them to decimate entire communities and scared the inhabitants away to allow for mining without having to pay compensation or other entitlements that host communities would have enjoyed.
“The killings they deployed have, unfortunately, impacted in unexpected ways, or they might have been aware of these consequences and their greed still allowed them to put themselves above the 200 million Nigerians that could be imperilled.
“The killings have snuffed life out of able bodied farmers who would have grown food crops in the next farming season. It has scared those still alive away from the region with the result that there would not be enough farmers around when the planting season begins.
“The general security outlook that has been created in the entire region is such that those that could potentially invest in agriculture against the next farming season will be compelled to take decisions that will not be friendly to large scale food production. The spread of these killers to other states will equally replicate these ugly prospects and outcomes in these places,” the group said.
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Meanwhile, chairman of the Senate committee on petroleum resources (downstream), Senator Kabiru Marafa (APC, Zamfara) at the weekend thanked his colleagues at the both chambers of the National Assembly for the provision of N10billion in this year's budget to address the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Zamfara state, occasioned by the nefarious activities of bandits.
Following a motion sponsored by Marafa, the National Assembly, while passing the 2019 budget made a provision of N10billion for the creation of an intervention fund to be called PRESIDENTIAL INITIATIVE ON ZAMFARA STATE, to cater for the humanitarian disaster in Zamfara state.
Marafa in a statement sent to Legit.ng on Sunday, May 5, said the overwhelming support by his colleagues at both chambers, showed that with unity of purpose and direction, the country can overcame its challenges.
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Buhari should put an end to banditry, unrest in Zamfara - Nigerians cry | Legit TV