Arewa development forum backs Matawalle’s for self-defense by citizens
Arewa elders have expressed support for Governor Bello Mutawalle’s idea of citizens carrying arms to protect communities, saying that the Northwest people have suffered enough from banditry activities.
The Northern elements group, known as AREWA Development Forum for Peace and Justice after its meeting resolved to back Matawalle’s call for citizens to be armed to protect themselves.
This was contained in a press statement signed and issued to newsmen in Gusau, the State capital by Zubairu Abdullahi.
The group faulted negative reactions over the suggestion of the governor and bemoaned the hurried comments of discouragement by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor and other elites who are economical with the true security situation in the northwest zone.
“A few days ago, terrorists invaded a mining site in Shiroro local government area of Niger State killing about 17 security agents including soldiers, police and local vigilantes, and abducting four Chinese expatriates”
“This was coming a few days after reports of alleged attacks and kidnap of many people in some villages in Kaduna, Kebbi, Niger, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto states unabated”
“This multifaceted crime against the Nigerian state and Nigerians has continued to thrive without any serious strategies in place to end the challenge by the security operatives, but, instead, we are awash with news from some higher-ranking officers in the security echelons and elites that they are not in support of public bearing arms for protection”
“To us, these groups of Nigerians are openly frustrating the efforts by the government of Zamfara State towards empowering communities to acquire and carry arms legally to protect themselves against the rampaging invading terrorists that have made peace impossible in their ancestral homes”
“Just on Thursday, June 30, at the funeral prayers for a slain Priest in Kaduna, the Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna Diocese, Most Rev Matthew Man Oso Ndagoso openly supported the decision of Governor Bello Mutawalle of empowering and allowing citizens to carry arms legally to protect themselves against the incessant killings by the ravaging criminals”
“The Catholic leader also referenced Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State who had earlier suggested the same thing as the only way to complement what the military and police are doing in the fight against terrorists in the region”
“For those saying it’s not right and disastrous if citizens are allowed to protect themselves in self-defence against these bandits, then who is supporting or licensing those invading bandits to continue maiming and killing our people by using AK-47 and other dangerous weapons in our region?
“Our leaders must act now or we continue to become targets of elimination by certain minority marauders going about with weapons against the majority”
”Many people around Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Sokoto States who are victims of such carnages have endorsed the decisions of the Zamfara State government for the foresight and action taken to reduce and completely checkmate bandits’ movement, fight them and stop their carnages”
“Going by the example of how Southwestern states have brought down the alleged criminal animal rearers’ attacks on their communities by about 75 percent as a result of their vigilante outfit group known as AMOTEKUN in collaboration with community patrol volunteers is open to all. They bear arms and move around with an ale of confidence and fight against insecurity in their areas”
”From Zurmi to Tsafe, from Bakura Maru to Shinkafi local government areas of the State, these bandits have continued with their deadly and dastardly attacks against innocent people because security agencies are overwhelmed with inadequate manpower, precision equipment and logistics facilities to nip the nefarious activities of these blood thirsty terrorists, insurgents and bandits in the bud”
“In this case, Governor Mutawalle is the man wearing the shoe and knows where it pains, hence, our call on all meaning Nigeria to support his call on locals to legally acquire arms to protect and defend their communities against any form of criminal invasion”
“Proactive measures that include supporting military & Police operations, provision of logistics and giving communities rights of self-defence is more important and the best options for bringing a lasting and assured peace, cohesion and security to people in the dire situation like now”