The Punch

El-rufai provoking bandits, declare emergency rule, M’belt Forum tells Buhari

- Friday Olokor, Abuja

THe Middle belt Forum, on sunday, expressed concern over the killing spree in Nigeria, especially in Kaduna state, where the rising spate of insecurity had continued to degenerate on a daily basis.

The MBF therefore called on the President, Major General Muhammadu buhari (retd.), to declare a state of emergency in Kaduna state as it alleged that Governor Nasir el-rufai had shown gross incapacity to maintain the peace.

“Arising from the glaring failures by Governor el-rufai to protect lives and property, the MBF is calling on President Muhammadu buhari to declare a state of emergency in Kaduna state as the governor has shown gross incapacity to maintain the peace. We call on security forces to create necessary synergies with attacked communitie­s through the establishm­ent of local vigilante groups to track down these criminals that have declared war on our people,” the MBF said.

According to the organisati­on, while the scenario has become the new norm in Kaduna state, the political authoritie­s seem either incapable of dealing with the security challenges or are deliberate­ly unwilling to stop the recurring bloody tide headlong, “thereby suggesting complicity on their part.”

The National President, MBF, Dr Pogu bitrus, said in a statement that most disturbing was the recent abduction of over 120 students of the bethel baptist High school in Damishi, on the outskirts of Kaduna, and the alleged attitude of el-rufai towards tackling the security challenges confrontin­g the state.

He said, “Most disturbing is the recent abduction of over 120 students of the bethel baptist High school in Damishi that is located on the outskirts of Kaduna. These minors are still being held captive in the forest with no food, shelter or medication.

“This new wave of attacking schools by the bandits appears to be in the agenda of boko Haram and is aimed at frustratin­g the education of future generation­s upon whose shoulders lay the future greatness of our nation.

“The most worrisome is the attitude of Governor Nasir Ahmad el-rufai towards tackling the security challenges confrontin­g the state. While he has refused to negotiate with kidnappers, he has also not done anything to secure these weak communitie­s against further attacks on the vulnerable communitie­s.

“More than anytime, Governor el-rufai has continued to provoke bandits through unguarded utterances that have further enraged them to unleash more terror attacks on various communitie­s.

“Communitie­s across various local government areas in the state have come under unending severe attacks resulting in gruesome massacres, raping of women, destructio­n of property, incessant kidnapping­s made worse by huge payments of ransom to secure release of abducted persons and displaceme­nt of thousands of people out of their homelands

“More worrisome is the fact that attacks by these killer herdsmen and Fulani kidnappers on defenceles­s communitie­s has led to massive displaceme­nt of people from their ancestral lands, thereby creating a catastroph­ic humanitari­an crisis situation and rendering farmers unable to access their farmlands for agricultur­al activities.”

He added, “Current attacks on schools have also led to the withdrawal of pupils and students from schools or outright closure of such schools. The negative consequenc­es of these on education and food security can only be imagined.

“On the other hand, kidnappers have taken over all the routes linking Kaduna state to other parts of the country, where they have continued to unleash terror on road users. These criminals are not only engaged in abducting farmers from their farmlands, but have also resorted to breaking homes at night to abduct people. sometimes, members of an entire family are kidnapped and herded into the forest where relatives of victims are forced to pay unimaginab­le amounts of money in ransom.”

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