For over a decade, Nigeria has been challenged with different insecurity problems from when Chibok girls were adopted by Boko haram in April 2014, to the ethnic crisis, incessant kidnappings, banditry, and the fight over open grazing between Fulani herdsmen and the communities involved.
This constant insecurity has led to different suggestions from political leaders in a bid to address the issue. The most recent is Katsina Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, who spoke concerning the matters of insecurity in an interview with Channels television on the Politics today show.
Here are some points he made:
Most bandits are from the Fulani ethnic group
When asked the identities of bandits terrorizing the country, Masari said, “They are the same people like me, who speak the same language like me, who profess the same religious beliefs like me. So, what we have here on ground are bandits; they are not aliens, they are people we know, they are people that have been living with us for 100 of years.”
He further noted that many northerners might not like his revelation but the truth had to be said.
Negotiating with bandits was a mistake
Governor Masari is one of the Northern governors who had earlier on negotiated with bandits to secure kidnapped victims. However, he recently stated that negotiating with bandits had been a mistake on his part because it further complicates the issue.
According to him: “The only thing I can say is that with the benefit of hindsight, I wouldn’t have done it. We realized who are you talking with because they do not have an umbrella. They are not pushing for any ideological view; they are not pushing for any religious view. They are simply bandits, criminals, and thieves. Any person in the forest is a potential criminal and should be dealt with as such.”
Open grazing should be banned across the country
Governor Masari revealed that open grazing does not go in line with Islamic laws and it has become pertinent for it to be banned across the country. “We intend to ban unnecessary roaming about with cattle. But before we do that, we will make provisions where the animals will stay. I think the situation in the southern part of the country is slightly different from the northern part of the country. The majority of the herders are from the northern part of the country. So, for us, we need a law that should be obeyed, not one that will be disregarded”, he said.
Telecommunication sites in Zamfara state should be shut
Zamfara is one of the northern states in Nigeria that has been plagued with insecurity. Governor Masari stated that in order to curb this, the Nigerian communications commission (NCC) should shut down telecommunications in Zamfara state. He said many military operations had been sabotaged due to unknown informants and a shutdown would leave them toothless.
Restriction of movement is necessary
On August 31, 2021, Masari closed the Jibia-Gurbin-Baure Road and the Kankara-Sheme Road to all motorists. He also suspended sales of cows and other animals at markets in 14 local government areas. He said this was done because the forests are made up of bandits, kidnappers, rapists, and armed robbers. Therefore, all measures should be employed to curtail the situation before the end of the year.