Sani Shinkafi, the former Chairman of the Committee on Prosecution of Bandits Related Offenses, has implored Zamfara State Governor, Duada Lawal, to prioritise the safety and well-being of the people over political interests amidst the ongoing banditry crisis in the state.
This plea comes in response to Governor Lawal’s accusations against some Federal Government agencies, alleging they negotiate with bandits without consulting the state government or other security agencies.
Shinkafi, appearing on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, expressed that the governor’s statements were not aligned with the current reality of insecurity in the state.
He emphasized that playing politics with people’s lives and properties is unacceptable and that the constitutional responsibility of any government is to serve and protect its people.
He noted that the governor had met with the National Security Adviser and other security officials to discuss restoring peace in Zamfara, and the governor would appreciate any approach to tackle the insecurity.
Shinkafi highlighted the military’s challenges in the state, citing a lack of equipment and staff to combat the bandits effectively.
He proposed adopting kinetic and non-kinetic strategies to address insecurity, involving respectable society members to reduce collateral damage and promote peace.
The ongoing insecurity in Zamfara has led to numerous deaths, displacements, and kidnappings, with communities suffering collateral damage during military operations, leading to mistrust.
The escalating banditry in Zamfara State and its subsequent political discourse underscores the urgent need for cohesive and people-centric strategies to restore peace and security.
The allegations and counter-allegations between the state and federal entities only divert attention from the pressing issues and delay the implementation of practical solutions.
The focus should be on fostering collaboration between all levels of government and security agencies to address the root causes of banditry and to provide immediate relief to the affected communities.
The military’s reported lack of equipment and personnel in the state is alarming and calls for immediate redress.
Adopting both kinetic and non-kinetic strategies, as suggested by Shinkafi, seems to be a balanced approach to mitigating collateral damage and ensuring the well-being of the citizens.
It is high time that the people’s lives and security are prioritised above political considerations to pave the way for lasting peace in Zamfara and other affected regions.
Did You Know?
- In recent years, Zamfara State, located in northwestern Nigeria, has been a hotspot for banditry and kidnappings.
- Banditry in Nigeria often involves stealing cattle, kidnapping for ransom, and attacks on communities.
- The Nigerian military has been deployed in various states, including Zamfara, to combat banditry and other forms of insecurity.
- The term “kinetic strategy” in security terminology refers to using military force, while “non-kinetic strategy” involves non-violent negotiations and community engagement.
- The ongoing insecurity has led to the displacement of thousands of people in Zamfara, impacting the socio-economic fabric of the state.