Zamfara Killings: Buhari Looking Worried

By Stephen Ubanna

President Muhammadu Buhari , of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, has never been so worried  about the security situation in the country than now. ”There is no issue  that dominates  my mind  every 24 hours like security  because  protecting the citizens of my country  is one  of the primary functions of my Administration”, he had said.

He appears to have followed it up  with  the frequent meetings with the Heads of the  various security Agencies in the country.  ”Almost every week , I summon  my security chiefs  to get an update on the strategies  being devised  to defeat  these mass murderers’ he had said”.

The security chiefs always at the  meeting with  him at the Presidential villa include  Babagana Munguno, a Major General,rtd, and National Security Adviser, NSA. Tukur Buratai, chief of Army Staff, CAS, Abubabakar Sadiq,, Chief of Air Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas, Chief of Naval Staff, CNS,  Mohammed Abubakar  Adamu, , the acting Inspector General of Police, IGP, Hameed Ali, a retired Colonel , and Comptroller  General, Nigerian Customs Service, NCS,  Magaji Binchi, Director General, Department of State Security , Hameed Ali, Comptroller General, a retired Army Colonel and comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service, NCS and Mohammad Badende, Comptroller General, Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS.  

Mohammed Abubakar Adamu: acting Inspector General of Police, Ready For The Criminal Elements In The Country

An aggrieved Buhari  had  revealed he  constantly ” listen to  the security chiefs  in order to understand their problems and needs”, noting that  he has never hesitated  to attend  to those their needs  in terms of motivating  and equipping them  to respond effectively  to the  country’s security challenges. Recall that only recently over 9,000 police officers were promoted.

 Perhaps, what may have touched the heart of the Katsina state born Nigerian President that something urgent needed to be done was the banditry in Zamfara state similar to the Islamic Fundamentalist, Boko Haram killings, in the north east, particular Borno state.

  Abdullahi Shikanffi, Secretary to the state government   who is getting worried by the day said the banditry in the state   has claimed over 3,000 lives and destruction of 2000 homes, burning of over 500 vehicles including exotic  ones and kidnapping of over 500 people in the last few years.  In tackling the problem within the limited resources of the state  he disclosed that  the government has spent   over  N17 billion   in the last seven years.

Abdulaziz Yari, the state governor and Chairman, Nigerian Governor’s Forum, NGF,  who has been carrying the burden over the last seven years,  said  Buhari and his  security chiefs should  take  the decisive action  against the bandits   and kidnappers operating in the state before” it get out of hand”.

Worried by the continous killing and kidnapping of people  by  these bandits,   indigenes of the state  resident in Abuja , the Federal Capital Territory, FCT,  had matched out on the streets  in protest to draw the attention of Buhari, the Commander -In-Chief of the Armed Forces  to intervene and stop the killings and kidnappings  currently going onin the state.

The protesters had cried out that the ”insecurity  situation in the state  has resulted in ”apprehension , displacements of communities and loss of lives” which could only be handled by the Presidency and the security chiefs.

Security experts believe that  the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno state may have penetrated the ranks of the bandits in Zamfara state  as they are getting bolder day by day  in their operations  with little or no resistance by the Army and the police to arrest the situation.

In apparent moves to  stop the killing and kidnapping  in the state, an unhappy Buhari,  according Garba Shehu, a senior Special Assistant to the President on Media  and Publicity, in a Statement , has ”ordered  deployment of troops  to all the areas  currently under attack from the bandits.

 Appealing to the indigenes of the communities  to support and cooperate  with the security agencies  operatives , Shehu , the Media and Publicity senior Special Assistant  quoted the President as having reassured the people  that  the” government is determined  to tackle this security challenge ferociously until this heartless killers are crushed and utterly defeated”.

 Adamu, the acting IGP, ON Friday, April, 5, 2019, launched” Operation  Puff Adder” along the  Abuja- Kauna highway. According to him, Operation Puff Adder was a well a thought out decision by the police aimed at ” re-dominating and reclaiming  the public space  from the heinous  criminal elements  that are bent  on threatening  the nation’s  internal  security order”.

 Note that the President may have provided  an insight to the police boss on how to deal with the bandits and kidnappers  when he lamented that  ”it was regrettable  that the bandits   have informants  within  the communities ”. 

There are fears in both official and unoffical quarters  that many of these Zamfara communities , may have  signed  protection   deals  with the bandits  at the expense  of other communities ,going by the ease at which  they  enter the Communities to operate and get out without any security resistance.  It is not surprising  why security analysts believes  that  most of the Zamfara  communities  are the ones complicating and frustrating  government interventionist measures, . 

They   are optimistic that  the current  police  boss would make a head way in  dealing with the  notorious bandits  if he could succeed in getting the communities  to report suspicious movements   of the criminals  into their areas for police quick intervention.

 Recall that the President has made it clear to the heads of the various security agencies  that ”intelligence gathering  is critical  to protecting , frustrating  , neutralising  and defeating the  criminals”. The police Chief may have taken the advice  into consideration as he penetrate the communities to be getting the necessary  information that would guide their operations of neutralising the bandits.

Those who has worked closely with the acting IGP, describes  him as an  officer who if he gives himself a target pursues it to its logical concllusion.  They believe that with the strategies put in place  to deal with the Zamfara bandits and their sponsors , they would soon discover that there would be no hiding place for them to unleash mayhem on  the people any longer with the launching  of Operation Puff Adder, an indication that banditry would soon be a thing of the past in  Zamfara state.

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