Zamfara Killings: Governor Yari Backs Call for Emergency Rule

Apparently overwhelmed by the unrestrained carnage in his domain, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State Thursday backed a call on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in the state. 

 Yari, according to News Agency of Nigeria, spoke at a press briefing in Gusau and said, “I am also in support of the declaration of state of emergency if it will save the lives of people of the state.” 

 Four university lecturers had in a statement made available to THISDAY on Wednesday called on the president to declare a state of emergency in the state over the massive violence and killings occurring in the North-west state. 

 The dons, Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim of Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja; Dr. Abubakar Mohammed, Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Zaria; Prof. Massoud Omar, Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Zaria; Dr. Saluihu Mustapha, Department of History, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; and Malam Mohammed Abubakar Nasiru, also of Department of History, Ahmadu Bello university, Zaria, had asked the president to intervene in Zamfara because the situation had gone out of control of the state government. 

 Also urging decisive action by Buhari Thursday was the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who said the spate of killings in the state had become unacceptable.

 Yari pleaded with politicians not to politicise the worsening security situation in the state. 

He said, “We are talking about the lives of our people and this needs the coming together of all, so that the crisis can end. 

 “If the provisions of my office had allowed me to carry arms against the bandits, l would have done so. 

“But, if I am not around, there are capable hands that collaborate with the security team in the fight against the bandits.

 “The security men are doing their best. But, it is sad to know that some of the people involved in the kidnappings are close relatives or associates of the victims, which is part of the reasons the problem is persisting. 

“We must all come together and expose anyone or group that is part of these hoodlums, and we should also pray for Allah’s intervention . 

” Bandits had continued to elude security measures put in place by both the state and federal governments, killing and maiming innocents citizens at will. 

 Speaking on the issue, Saraki called on Buhari to take decisive action towards arresting the spate of killings in Zamfara State. 

 The senate president’s charge come as the Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdurrahman Dambazzau (rtd), assured Nigerians of the federal government’s readiness to deploy additional security resources to end the destruction of lives and property in the state. 

 Saraki in a statement Thursday by his media adviser, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, said Buhari should take full, direct control as former President Goodluck Jonathan was urged by the opposition to take full control in 2014.

 He argued that the president should urgently give a marching order to the various security agencies, telling them to give him progress report on a regular basis. 

"The president has to take full, direct control. 

May be the president must widen the consultation within the armed forces on the search for solution to this problem.

 He must go beyond the first line military top brass. We need to get ideas from more sources than we presently do,” he said. 

According to him, there is need for us to use the Zamfara case to demonstrate to all criminal elements that the government will not tolerate those who hide under whatever guise to shed human blood in our country. 

"We should look at the Zamfara killings as a major threat to our democracy, particularly as we move towards election period in the next 50 days. 

We should not allow criminal elements to take over parts of the country. 

The situation in that state is an example of why we need to overhaul our security architecture in order to bring them to a state where they can tackle emerging challenges,” the Senate president said. 

 He described the killings as barbaric, unacceptable and called on the security agencies to swiftly devise a strategy to put an end to the ugly situation. 

 Saraki pointed out that the situation in Zamfara State is a demonstration that unlike in 2015 when the only crisis point in the northern part of the country was the North-east zone, the North-west has today been engulfed by a bloody situation in which human lives are wasted on a daily basis.

 According to him, the killings have gone on for too long and the situation has not been given the desired attention as well as the right strategy that will stop it, adding that there was a clear indication of systemic failure. 

 He said, “There is need for certain and proper profiling of the situation so that we can know whether it is simple cattle rustling, vicious armed robbery on a large scale, religious cum ethnic crisis or invasion by foreign forces.

 “Our security agencies must immediately come out with a proper understanding of the situation, the right strategy and deployment of the necessary troops to tackle the menace.

 We must within the next few days send the right signals to the criminals in that area that the Nigerian State will no longer tolerate the on-going blood-letting.” 

Meanwhile, the Minister of Interior, Dambazzau, has assured Nigerians of the federal government’s readiness to deploy additional security resources to end the destruction of lives and property in Zamfara State. 

 The minister said the president had commiserated with the government and people of the state, following attacks by suspected bandits, which claimed property and hundreds of lives of innocent Nigerians.  
Dambazzau expressed Buhari’s deep concern about the unrepentant attitude of the perpetrators of senseless killings in the state. 

 “We are committed to working closely with the state government to deploy more security resources to the state,’’ he said. 

Ehisienmen said the minister was further briefed by heads of security agencies in the state, in order to put in place additional proactive measures to restore peace needed to protect agricultural and mining interests in the state.

 According to the statement, Dambazzau was received by the state’s Acting Governor Mr. Sanusi Rikiji, and other members of Zamfara Executive Council. 

 The minister later proceeded to the palace of Sarkin Katsina Gusau, Dr Ibrahim Bello, the Emir of Gusau. 

He said Dambazzau, while at the palace also delivered Buhari’s message, and assured the Gusau emirate of government’s commitment to ensure law and order in the state.

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