Northern youth group, the Arewa Youth Forum (AYF), has raised the alarm that, some of the over 44,000 youths orphaned by insecurity in Zamfara State are being recruited by marauding armed bandits terrorising the North-West and some North-Central states.
AYF said, this was discovered following a research it carried out as part of measures to find the root causes of the persistent security challenges. It revealed that, within ‘eight dark years’ of banditry in Zamfara State, a conservative figure of about 11,000 adult males that were bread-winners of their families were killed, leaving behind an estimated figure of 22,000 wives and 44,000 children.
In a statement issued by its national president, Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, AYF expressed fear that, Nigeria is sitting on a volcano of humanitarian and security challenges brewing and about to erupt with a looming consequences.
According to Gujungu, “It is with great concern over the incessant and prevailing security situation in the North West particularly Zamfara State, the Arewa Youth Forum (AYF) decided to as a matter of utmost urgency intervene in finding a lasting solution.
“It is worrisome that the present situation of incessant and barbaric killings, maiming, kidnapping for ransom, rape, cattle rustling and wanton destruction of property and economic livelihood assets by devilish forces of evil and blood thirsty insurgents has reached an unimaginable and horrendous proportion in a region which was hitherto peaceful and calm, called Northern Nigeria. In fact, hardly a day passes without such incidents occurring. “Therefore, in view of this state of affairs and pursuant to Arewa
Youth Forum’s Conflict Mitigation and Peace Building (CMPB) Project, we undertook a deep and holistic research aimed at finding out the root causes of the persistent security challenge, with a view of finding lasting and sustainable solution. “Our preliminary findings showed that within eight (8) dark years only of banditry in Zamfara State, a conservative figure of about eleven thousand (11,000) adult males that were bread-winners of their families were killed, leaving behind an estimated conservative figure of about twenty two thousand (22,000) widows (with at least two 2 wives to a person), and in another alarming breath, an estimated conservative figure of forty four thousand (44,000) orphans at an average of four (4) children to a deceased person. A very conservative estimate indeed for this figure could be a double or triple of this.