TENSION, AS TERRORISTS DECLARE ZAMFARA A SAFE HAVEN
The right to freedom of movement which is bestowed on every citizen lawfully residing in a country to freely move within the country has become as alien as it is an illusionary privilege for residents of Zamfara State.
Though it is always said that “what has a beginning must definitely have an end”. Unfortunately, this statement seems alien for residents of Zamfara State as their daily lives are inundated with fear of even their shadows.
The last few months have witnessed such a spike in abductions, massacres, cattle rustling and arson, giving rise to the notion that terrorists may have made the state their safe haven.
Though information is rife that the President’s botched visit to the State last month was due to “bad weather”, many, however, believe it may not be unconnected with the attendant fear shrouding every nook and cranny in the state for which the citizens grapple in fear.
Several communities including Tofa Magami Road, Rijiya, Karazau, Yar Tsakkuwa and Gidan Kaura communities in Gusau Local Government Area have become particularly notorious for these unabated terrorist attacks.
Notable among terrorists incidents include the killing of seven policemen on Monday, November 8 during a Police patrol where the patrol vehicles were also set ablaze.
In addition, reports of over seven people killed and 33 abducted on December 26, 2021, in Geba, Kura, Duma, Gana, Tsakkuwa, Gidan Kada and Gidan Kaura communities abide.
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Last month, no fewer than 200 people were killed and over 10,000 displaced by revenge-seeking terror-bandits in the North-Western State, following military air raids on their hideouts on January 4, 2022. Confirming the incidents, Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs said over 200 bodies were buried.
The disturbing news of at least 30 people killed and several others, mostly soft targets and vulnerable women abducted on Friday still remains among one of the bitter pills to swallow unleashed in the litany of mayhem plaguing the state.
The attacked communities which include Nasarawar Mai Fara in Tsafe Local Government Area, Yar Katsina in Bungudu Local Government Area and Nasarawa village in Bakura Local Government Area goes further to confirm that no local government in the state is spared of this daily brutality.
Not that attacks are foreign in the state, however, the complexity with the most recent attack which was said to be due to the failure of residents to pay N40million levy imposed by Ada Aleru, a notorious banditry kingpin operating in the area and the Fasakari axis raises the critical question: “Are taxes paid to government becoming incapable of providing citizens with requisite protection of lives and property?
“Should citizens therefore re-channel payment of taxes to a group (terror) whose accountability is flawless and precise as to spare the lives of those who honour their imposition of levies and kill those who do not?.
The questions may have been premised on the basis that trend analysis has shown that not only may it be difficult for the government to accurately render accountability of all taxes paid, but the untold pain and penury suffered daily by residents has also reached a crescendo that if the available is no longer feasible, the feasible becomes available.
Statistics further confirm the heightened attacks as reported incidents have shown that over 500 innocent lives were abruptly eliminated by terrorists between November 2021 to date.
It is within the above context that this report commends the records of success recorded thus far, and also add the following suggestions as a means of ameliorating the security crisis plaguing the state:
- Strategic alliance and collaborative efforts with local security groups/bodies such as Vigilantes, and enhanced human intelligence.
- Training of volunteered youths on basic Military strategies such as self-defence, rescue operations among others.
- Deployment of enhanced Military troops to the State and simultaneous offensives at identified strategic locations. This will ensure that fleeing terrorists are caught off-guard and neutralized by bombardments going in identified enclaves at the same time.
- Government should in addition embrace the use of disruptive technological approaches in their counter-terrorism fight.
THERE'S NO GAINSAYING THE POSSIBILITY OF TERRORISTS EXPLORING INVADING OTHER NEIGHBOURING STATES, IF THIS ZAMFARA SITUATION USED AS A PILOT STUDY IS NOT IMMEDIATELY HANDLED.