BY TUNDE OGUNTOLA, ABUJA; PATRICK OCHOGA, and UMAR MOHAMMED, GUSAU AND AZA MSUE,
Kaduna President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday assured Nigerians that last Friday’s abduction of over 300 female students from Government Girls Science Secondary School, Jangebe, Zamfara State, would be the last of such incidents to happen in the country. Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, conveyed Buhari’s declaration when he led a high-powered federal government delegation to sympathise with the people and government of Zamfara State.
“The President is assuring Nigerians that the Jangebe school abduction would be the last to happen in the country. The Government would show its commitment in fighting banditry and other forms of insecurity in the country’, Sirika noted. The minister said new measures have been developed by the federal government which would bring complete end to all forms of criminality in the nation.
He added: “The president is saddened by the abduction of the students from Jangebe and reassures you that the government has all the resources and wherewithal to contain these criminals. “Buhari also commends Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara efforts against armed banditry and promises a continued support to bring lasting peace.
“The federal government will continue its partnership with Zamfara government and its citizens in resolving the security challenges facing the state.”
Abducted Schoolgirls Will Be Released Soon – Matawalle
In his response, Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle, Expressed his appreciation for the concern showed by President Buhari and the federal government, noting that very soon the abductees would regain their freedom.
“I strongly believe in the president and his effort in fighting all forms of insurgence and urge him to improve on the nation’s security. “This is by ensuring synergy among the security agencies, so that confrontations with criminals can be coordinated on ground and air simultaneously,” the governor said. Other members of the federal government’s delegation are the ministers of Police Affairs, Alhaji Maigari Dingyadi; Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Hajiya Sa’adiya Umar-Faruk and Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen.
Pope Francis Condemns Zamfara Schoolgirls’ Abduction
Meanwhile, Pope Francis has condemned the kidnapping of more than 300 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Talata-Mafara local government area of Zamfara State. The Pope described the abduction of the schoolgirls as “vile” in a post via his official Twitter handle yesterday. He added that he was praying for the safety of the girls, so they can return home soon.
“I join my voice to that of the Bishops of Nigeria to condemn the vile kidnapping of the 317 girls, taken away from their school in Jangebe. I am praying for these girls so they might return home soon. I am near to their families,” the Pontiff wrote.
Nigeria’s Job Deficit Fuelling Insecurity – ExVP Sambo
Meanwhile, former Vice President Namadi Sambo has identified job deficit as one of the key factors responsible for the growing spate of insecurity in the country. Sambo noted that while the security challenges in the country have some direct relationship with the massive job deficit, IUO has set the pace for breeding skilled graduates with the ability to handle high skilled jobs.
He, therefore, advised the matriculating students to take advantage of the world-class teaching and learning facilities provided by the institution to be change agents. The former number two citizen who spoke at the 22nd matriculation ceremony of Igbinedion University (IUO), Okada, Edo State at the weekend, also commended the University for creating entrepreneurs instead of job seekers.
He said the development attests to the quest for excellence by the founder and chancellor of the Institution, Chief Dr. Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion. On his part, vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, said the institution was setting new standards in producing future-ready and innovation driven students in line with the institution’s smart campus and entrepreneurial inclusive vision.
Speak Up To Prove Your Innocence, US-based Activist Tells Fulani Leaders
A United States-based Nigerian peace activist, Prince Ayo Manuel Ajisebutu, has said the heightened tension by herders/farmers crises was due the inaction of the innocent herders and Fulani leaders who have kept mute while their kinsmen wreak havoc on their host communities. The activist who disclosed this in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP in Abuja yesterday said he was pained by the ugly development that continues to threaten the peace and unity of Nigeria.
“These good ones among them must come out in one voice and condemn Miyetti Allah’s declaration that Nigeria belongs to the Fulanis – a very divisive statement that warrants the association to be proscribed as a terrorist group,” he said. On the agitations for self-determination by some parts of the country, he said: “The Yorubas and Igbos that want to exit from Nigeria should not be forced to stay, especially now that we all can see the shortfall of the 1914 amalgamation.”
Northern Governors Working At Cross Purposes – Kaze
Meanwhile, piqued by the incessant kidnapping and act of banditry in the Northern part of the country, a two-time member of the House of the Representatives, Hon. Bitrus Kaze, has attributed the menace to the absence of sincerity of purpose among the governors of the region, saying the unfortunate situation will continue to fester as long as the governors are acting at cross purposes. Kaze, who spoke at the weekend in Jos, Plateau State capital, said the discordant tunes among the governors and insincerity have emboldened the bandits and other criminal elements to keep terrorising the region.
He stated: “There is absence of sincerity of purpose among them, if all of them are sincere in their approach towards terrorism, also in their intentions and line of thoughts, there will be consistency in the fight against this menace. While one is talking of negotiation and another is talking of amnesty. “And on the other hand, the bandits too are complaining that they were used during elections and have not been given what they were promised. This is the testimony of the bandits. If they refused to put their differences behind and face the daunting challenges ahead of them, these criminal elements might overrun the North.
“Kidnapping individuals, secondary school students have now become the major antic of the bandits and ways of getting huge ransoms from individuals and government and some people including governors are saying negotiation with these elements is the best option to address the pathetic situation.”
Zamfara Monarchs Blame FG for Security Lapses
Also, the Zamfara State Council of Chiefs has blamed the federal government for security lapses that caused the abduction of over 300 schoolgirls in the state last Friday.
The chairman of the State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Attahiru Ahmad Muhammad, stated this when he and other monarchs visited the Government House in Gusau, the state capital, to register their sympathy over the abduction of the schoolgirls. According to the monarchs, security of lives and property of every Nigerian rests in the hands of the federal government and not the responsibility of the state governments.
“The security of lives and properties wholly rests in the hands of the federal government and not state governments. The state governments only give support and logistics to the security operatives in states”. The monarch noted that the schoolgirls were abducted following inadequate security, saying that if there had been enough security networks the bandits wouldn’t have succeeded. He noted that those responsible for causing sleepless nights to thousands as a result of banditry and terror attacks would not go unpunished, just as he pointed out that their sins would soon find them out.
Bandits Kill 7 In Kaduna
The Kaduna State government yesterday confirmed that security agencies reported bandits’ attack in Igabi and Kajuru local government areas of the state. A statement by the state commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, noted that the attack on Kajinjiri village in Igabi local government area killed two residents identified as Ibrahim Rabi’u and Abdulrahman Mohammad.
“One person, Kamal Murtala, sustained gunshot injuries, and is receiving treatment at a nearby facility. “Similarly, in Rago village also of Igabi local government area, bandits killed two locals identified as Alhaji Ibrahim Iro and Muhammadu Rabiu,” the statement said, adding that in a separate incident, gunmen invaded Kutura station, Kajuru local government area and killed three residents.
Those killed were identified as Michael Shadari, Clement Aura Bili and Danlami Shaban. Aruwan said Governor Nasir el-Rufai noted the reports with sadness and condoled with the families of those killed in both attacks, while offering prayers for the repose of their souls. “He also wished the injured victim from Kajinjiri village a quick recovery”, the commissioner added.