Security: Minister Accuses Powerful Nigerians Of Illegal Mining, Sponsoring Banditry And Terrorism;Sultan Of Sokoto, Urges Intelligence Services To Be Proactive To Prevent Attacks;

 By Suleiman Umaru

Worried by incessant attacks on Communities in the north western state of Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Katsina, home state of former President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as in other parts of the country may have encouraged Sa’ad Abubakar III , an Army  Brigadier General, rtd and the  current Sultan of Sokoto to speak out.

Given his military background, the revered Sultan of Sokoto, who could not hide his feelings may have used the opportunity of his presence at the 80th edition of the National Islamic Vocation, IVC, in the north eastern state of Bauchi, to speak his mind.   The retired Brigadier General, may have shocked Nigerians when he  disclosed  that ‘‘insecurity   had been politicized in Nigeria’ which many believe  had made it  extremely very difficult for  military Commanders and their troops on operations to effectively  launch decisive attacks on the Criminal elements to avoid stepping on toes.

The Sultan was said to have made it clear to those that cares to listen that banditry in the different parts of the country has nothing to do with religion but that of the Leadership of the country. He had said that once ‘’the people develop the much expected confidence in the Leadership position of the country, within the next two months, the insecurity situation of the country will change for the better’’.

 He has his reasons. This is because ‘’Muslims, Christians and even those that don’t have any religion go to the same market and they buy the same foodstuff, enter the same vehicles and pay the same fares’’.

The Sultan was said to have made Muslims to understand that people of the Christian faith are not planning any evil against them and the Christians to also have at the back of their mind that the Muslims are not after them, insisting that ‘’the problem of the country is the issue of failed Leadership’’.

An aggrieved Sultan had revealed that ‘’whether in Sokoto, Katsina, Kebbi, Kaduna or any other flash point area in Nigeria, ‘’the security agencies personnel    have lost their sense of gathering information mechanisms to avert attacks on Communities. The recent attack on 20 Communities across Bokkos, Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas and two other districts in Plateau state had been targeted in the well-coordinated attacks between Saturday, December 23, 2023 and Monday, December, 2023, where over 150 persons were said to have been killed and 301 other persons injured and 27 houses burnt by the gunmen as reported by the Nigerian Red Cross Society bear eloquent testimony to the high level of insecurity in the country.

Gunmen attack in Plateau state

  The gunmen who were  armed to the teeth and fully prepared to kill and go were said to have entered the Plateau state  Communities to kill and go   without any resistance from the security agencies operatives which   may have informed why  Isa Sanusi, Amnesty International’s country director for Nigeria  had asked President Bola Ahme Tinubu to investigate the incident that had sparked outrage in the state because of the news making the rounds that it was hatched and executed by armed herdsmen to avoid a reprisal attack .

The Sultan had said that if the security agencies operatives had been alive to their duties, the plateau state trigger-hungry killer gang whether bandits or herdsmen could have been prevented from carrying out their attacks on the affected Communities to save lives. He noted that the gunmen attacks on the Bokkos and Bardi Local Government areas of the north Central state of Plateau clearly shows that ‘’the bandits are always a step ahead of the Nigerian security agencies’’.

VP Shettima visit to Plateau StateTo Commiserate with the people Over Gunmen attacks that Killed Over 100 Persons

Vice President Kashim Shettima, who had visited the victims of the Plateau state communities attack on Wednesday, December 27, 2023.was said to have reassured them that Tinubu’s Administration  is  determined to address the insecurity situation i state and other parts of the country as promised.   

Given that intelligence gathering by the security agencies is key to winning the anti-banditry war across the country  may have informed why the Sultan had asked  President Tinubu  and  the security Chiefs ‘’to be up and doing ’’ He may have indicted the Nigerian security agencies  personnel in Plateau state over the gunmen attack as he queried : Are  you telling me that nobody  knew about the attacks?.

Dauda Lawal, governor of amfara state may have learnt one or two lessons from the recent Plateau attacks that he does not want to experience such a well- cordinated in Zamfara for now. It was not surprisingwhy had has closed down 11 cattle markets in the state.  The affected markets are believed to be used by the states operating in the state to sell off their rustled cows.

A cattle market closed in Zamfara state, to avoid a repeat of the Plateau incident where Communities were attacked in the state

Haidara, the state Commissioner for Information was emphatic on this that the markets were closed down for buying and selling of cows in the state because of recent security reports that’’ the bandits are conniving with some unscrupulous elements in the affected markets to sell off their rustled cows’’.

The affected markets closed down in the Bandits home state , according to  Munnir  Haidara, the state Commissioner for Information includes Tsafe and Bilbis in Tsafe Local Government Area, Jangebe  market  in Talata-Mafara Local Government  and   the Wuya  Cattle market in  Anka Local Government of the state.

Other  cattle markets that were said to have been closed down in the north western state are Magamin Diddi market,  in Maradun  LGA,  home Local Government Area where Bello Matawalle,  immediate past governor of the state  and now minister of State Defense, hails from and Galadi  market in Shinkafi LGA. This is in addition  to  Mada  market  in Gusau , the state Capital,  Sabon  Birnin  Dan-Ali , Kokiya, Chigama and Nasarawa Godel markets  in Birnin  Magaji Local government.

As a prelude to ensure that the cattle markets remain closed, the governor was said to have directed the security agencies  personnel in the state ‘’to arrest  any person   found around the vicinity of the closed markets  as a deterrence to other cow dealers  who might want to flout the government order.

Appealing to the people of the state to abide  with the government new order, Haidara, the state Commissioner for Information who had spoken the mind of the governor had  said that ‘’it is the only  ‘’to rid the state of banditry activities  and spread to other parts of the country.

Suffice it to say that the north western and the north central state of pLateau, particular,   between 2009 and now have been terrorized by Bandits militias operating mostly from bases deep in forests and persistently raiding village to loot and kidnap residents for ransom.

Dele Alake: minister of solid minerals

While the Nigerian President is currently faced with tackling Banditry and terrorism across the country, Dele Alake, a veteran Journalist and minister of Solid minerals had said that powerful Nigerians involved in illegal mining of gold, lithium and other solid minerals in high demand in the global market are the ones sponsoring banditry in Zamfara and other parts of the country.

The minister  who had put the conservative  value of the  minerals deposits  in the country  to the North American country of the United States m US, $700billions had said that  ‘’the country is yet to access  a quarter of the deposits which are private-sector driven’’. He had said that there are 44 minerals deposits that are illegally mined in Nigeria. One of such minerals that Nigeria is blessed which is in high demand in the world market is lithum.Another of such mineral deposits is gold.

Investigations by  The Value News online Magazine shows that gold deposits,  are found  most prominently in  the   Maru, Anka,  Malele, Tsohon Birnin Gwari-Kwaga, Gurmana, Bin Yauri, Okolom-Dogondaji  areas of the north,  particular, Zamfara state. This is in addition to marble, coal, iron ore, silica, lead, zinc, tin ore, manganese, granite, laterite, limestone among others.

Alake, the minister of Solid minerals may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he disclosed that the government has taken the bold initiative to identifying the powerful Nigerians involved   in illegal mining, sponsoring banditry and terrorism across the country by using both kinetic and non-kinetic means to do so.                                                  

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