Disturbed by continued killings in the country, especially in northern Nigeria, the apex northern sociocultural group, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has said President Muhammadu Buhari and state governors in the region could do more to protect lives and property.
ACF took a swipe at President Buhari and the northern governors, saying with the killings going on unabated, particularly in the northern region, it appears only the lives of the president, the governors, those of their immediate families and their offices matter.
In a statement issued by its national publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, ACF stated: “The President and the northern governors are unwittingly creating the impression that only their lives, those of their immediate family members and their offices matter. The ACF believes the President and the northern governors have the capacity to do better than this.
“The Arewa Consultative Forum would like to put on record its total disapproval, frustration and anger against what appears to be an endless orgy of killings in Northern Nigeria. The latest incident took place in Giwa Local government of Kaduna state where 38 innocent citizens were hacked to death”.
Quoting Samuel Aruwan, the state commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, ACF pointed out that many houses, trucks, cars and food crops were destroyed during the attacks that left 38 persons dead.
It noted: “While the ACF joins the Governor of Kaduna and the President of Nigeria in consoling those who suffered losses during the latest attack, we call on all the state governments and the Federal Government to show more empathy and sympathy in such grave security breaches. Nothing stops the President and a State governor from visiting such places.
“We sadly note that he has never felt it necessary to do so. In fact, following his example, not one governor has done so except Governor Zulum of Borno. Just a few days ago also in Uba Askira in Borno, 10 people were killed and uncountable numbers taken away. The people affected by these savage attacks are thus left to think that their lives don’t count.”
Meanwhile, Kaduna State government said yesterday that the death toll in an attack by bandits in Giwa local government area of the state on Saturday has risen from 38 to 40.
Kauran Fawa, Marke and Riheya villages in Idasu, Giwa local government areas were attacked by bandits, with 38 people confirmed dead on Sunday.
The commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, in a statement said two more bodies were found.
The statement explained further that security agencies on search operations in Giwa local government area have reported to the Kaduna State government the discovery of two additional bodies following weekend’s attack in some villages in the area.
“The latest discovery of two more bodies brings the death toll from the attack to 40”, Aruwan stated.
Meanwhile, the Northern Governors’ Forum has lauded the Nigerian Armed Forces for stepping up their operations against bandits and insurgents terrorising various parts of the country, particularly the North East, North Central and North West.
Chairman of the forum and governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, in a statement issued by the director of press and public affairs, Dr Simon Makut Macham, said the forum appreciated the recent efforts of the security personnel for carrying out operations across the affected areas of the North East, North Central and North West.
According to the statement, the ongoing operations in areas of Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna States, among others, where bandits and insurgents who have been terrorising the citizens are dislodged, is very commendable.
The forum urged the military to sustain the operations and further coordinate them to ensure that the terrorists do not shift their bases after been dislodged from current areas.
This, the forum’s chairman said, would make sure the terrorists are completely subdued and restrained from regrouping for law and order to prevail across the country.
He also condemned the recent attacks by terrorists in various local government areas of Kaduna State, Wase local government area of Plateau State, Askira Uba and other local government areas of Borno, Niger States, among others, where innocent citizens were gruesomely murdered and many properties destroyed.
While commiserating with the families of those killed and surviving victims, the forum reiterated its commitment to continue to provide succour to the affected and also work with the federal government for further humanitarian interventions.
Meanwhile, former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Benin Republic, Gen Tukur Buratai (rtd), has identified ignorance, weak justice system and poor leadership as factors responsible for insecurity and other social challenges in the country.
Buratai said this at the ground breaking and fundraiser for Tukur Buratai Research Centre (TBRC) at Gora in Nasarawa State.
He said the centre would collaborate with the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, in the fields of strategic studies, peace and conflict studies and leadership for development.
Buratai said, “One may want to know why a retired general cum diplomat will decide to collaborate with a university to set up a think-tank like TBRC. Since this is a straight question, I will respond with an answer that is precise and straight to the point.
“My simple philosophy about life is to continue to live a life of value by improving on the system that we have. As someone from the military, I reckoned the best way for me and my associates to add value to our society and make our country better and stronger is through a think-tank like TBRC.’’
The Nigerian envoy noted that Nigeria has potential for greatness but there are insufficient capabilities to transfer those potential into socio-economic benefits for the people.
According to him, inadequate research and development implementation in Nigeria creates a massive void in the nation’s progress.
He stated: “When properly focused research and training institutes are established, innovation and development become a natural progressive activity that benefits the nation’s life. In other words, Nigeria gains the ability to develop positively as a result of enhanced study and training.
“Corruption, insecurity due to terrorism and banditry, inadequate infrastructure, issues in governance and an inept educational system are all systemic flaws.
“With every amount of commitment made to research and training, as well as a strong national orientation one may be confident that we, as a people and a nation, are on the right track.
“I would like to utilize this TBRC platform to emphasize that now is the moment for us to turn within and devise home-grown solutions to our unique difficulties”.
The ambassador said TBRC is his way of contributing to national development and giving back to society through a well thought-out approach that would have a long lasting impact on the country.
“As a result of the myriad of socio-economic and political challenges, it may be reasonable to argue that Nigeria can, to a large degree, resolve her development issues through research,” Buratai said.
The vice chancellor, Nasarawa State University, Prof Suleiman Mohammed, said the institute and TBRC had identified their research and development partnership based primarily on security and strategic studies.
“The vision and mission of the Buratai centre aligns with the university’s policy and strategy for impacting the society. The centre’s motto which is to promote research for leadership and development is a strong statement about the ultimate value of research to impact humanity positively.
“We envisage that the centre will be a hub for cross fertilization of ideas on security, peace, conflict, leadership and development issues,’’ Mohammed said.
Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State who performed the ground breaking donated N50 million to the centre.
More than N160 million was realised at the occasion with the highest donation of N100 million from the BUA Group of Company.