Banditry In Northwest Nigeria Won’t Go Easily — Sultan

  • Challenges Northerners on collective action

The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar, says riding Nigeria’s North-West geo-political zone of banditry and insurgency will take decades except all Northerners resolve to overcome the menacing security challenge as one united front.

For him, the consequences of banditry and insurgency on Northern residents are devastating, and “What we must do is challenge these bandits because we all know the repercussions on our lives.”

Speaking at the ‘Inaugural North-West Peace and Security Summit’ in Katsina State on Monday, the Sultan expressed his worries thus; “It will take decades to get out of it if at all we get out of it. We all know the consequences and the problems.

The Sultan, while acknowledging the importance of robust cooperation among northern stakeholders, warned thus; “I would like to say no matter how much support you give us, if we are not ready and willing to end these criminal activities, we can not succeed. We are the ones to work and solve this problem if we so desire. Nobody will come from the moon to solve our problems”.

He also decried the unending insecurity in North-East Nigeria despite several peace summits by stakeholders and huge resource investments by the Federal Government to combat insecurity, stressing that; “Most people here gathered are familiar with the causes and as well as the consequences of insecurity in this part of the country for the last one decade”.

According to him; “Reports after reports, conferences after conferences, consultations after consultations, and of course, recommendations after recommendations, still the problem persists. Why? It is time to ask the question of why things are still the way they are today despite tons of money spent to procure equipment for the services and the well-being of the personnel.

“We need to ask this question to know how to move forward. Because without answering this question, we cannot go anywhere. We will only come back to another conference talking about the same issue, the same problem.”

The monarch, who is also the President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), further said that traditional rulers in the region are ready to collaborate with security agencies and northern governors to combat banditry and insurgency, adding; “I believe that at the end of the summit, proposals to bring insurgency to the barest minimum for people to go about their lives and businesses would be arrived at.”

The two-day North-West Peace and Security Summit is against the backdrop of sustained banditry and terrorist attacks that continue to ravage the region and neighbouring states outside the region. From Katsina to Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara, and Niger states, bandits in different coordinated attacks have repeatedly killed and kidnapped innocent citizens for ransom without restraint.

In attendance at the summit were Vice President Kashim Shettima, who represented President Bola Tinubu, former President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Dikko Radda of Katsina, Minister of Defence Muhammad Badaru, and National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu, among others.

The Summit was graced by Vice-President Kashim Shettima, who represented President Bola Tinubu, former President Muhammadu Buhari, host Governor Dikko Radda of Katsina State, and Governors of the seven states in the north-west geopolitical zone.

Also in attendance were Minister of Defence Muhammad Badaru, National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, Service Chiefs, and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr Kayode Egbetokun among others.

Unfortunately, the bloodthirsty bandits and terrorists, mostly disguised as herders, have in the last couple of years left thousands of residents, mostly vulnerable persons, in the North-West states killed, traumatized, and displaced

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