By Stanley Onyekwere
Following the alarming upsurge in banditry in Zamfara State, the Save Nigeria Coalition of Patriots has called the Federal government to ensure its immediate halt, by going after those behind the crisis.
The coalition of several civil society groups while making this known through its National Convener Comrade Yusuf Msheliza in a press conference, Wednesday, in Abuja, said it was rather unbelievable how swiftly the violence has escalated.
According to Mr Msheliza, the recent spate of killings in the northwestern state is political motivated, with the state Governor as the number one culprit.
He said: “The turn of event in Zamfara state is as troubling as it is baffling. It is a state that was peaceful was set to becoming a replacement economic hub for what the country has lost in the Borno state axis where farming and fishing in the Lake Chad Basin have been disrupted by terrorists, but now metamorphosed into a killing field where unknown killers are now on rampage.
“We of course acknowledged that the state in the past had occasional incidents of cattle rustling and incidents of robberies like any other part of the country or even other countries of the world. The state graduating to banditry on an industrial scale was quite a surprise.
“But the surprise was only up till the time that information has now trickled out to provide details about how the political bigwigs in the state have been stoking the fire of banditry, especially upon their rejection by their party members as flag bearers in the 2019 elections.
“Nigerians will therefore not tolerate a situation where politicians, irrespective of whether they lost primary elections, release killers in the guise of bandits to create another security threat for the country.
“Our Coalition will ensure that anyone that fails to heed this timely counsel and is later indicted would be dragged before all the courts possible on earth.
“They need to respect the sanctity of life and call off the killers they have contracted to cause mayhem in Zamfara state without further delay. They must also public renounce violence in any guise in addition to distancing themselves from acts that amount to endorsing violence as the answer when the permutation does not favour them.
“The Governors of the neighbouring states must do their part, which would in a way reassure Nigerians that they are not part of the political syndicate that is encouraging bandits to launch attacks against communities in the area.
“We urge the Federal Government to step into the situation before ti gets out hand. While the state governor presently enjoys immunity, his aides that do not enjoy immunity and found to be complicit in the banditry related killings in the state must be shown the full wrath of the law.