From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
A group, Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has called on northern governors for immediate ratification of its security outfit code named Operation “SHEGE KA FASA”.
The spokesperson of the group, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman made the appeal during the unveiling of the outfit in Kaduna yesterday.
He said the outfit will address security challenges within the region, emphasising that for the past 12 years, the north has struggled with disabling challenges that include dwindling economy, rising poverty and more worrying, a crippling security situation that has taken a huge toll on lives, property and the overall cohesion of the region.
Suleiman averred that the security challenges manifested in 2008 in the form of a deadly insurgency from the Northeast and within a short time, spread to other parts of the region and virtually turned the entire region into a battlefield.
It further noted that while the insurgency raged, other disturbances were created in the region in the form of cattle rustling that pitched northern communities against each other.
“A new dimension was introduced to the farmers/herders conflict which gradually deteriorated into an uncontrollable proportion and deepened the artificial rift between communities in the region.
“This trend suddenly metamorphosed into a deadly armed banditry and kidnapping for ransom which is recycled for arms and drugs. This is in addition to another frustrating trend of the theft and forced trafficking in northern children to other parts of the country for reasons that are largely dubious.
“The culmination of these security challenges has for the past decade turned the entire region into a house of horror with violent killings reported on a daily basis, communities displaced with formal and informal IDP camps spreading across the region.
“The situation today, on most northern highways, innocent travelers are waylaid, robbed and abducted, towns and villages attacked and sacked by bandits who have created an atmosphere of palpable fear across the region.
“As the situation grows more desperate by the day with the North as the most porous and vulnerable, with northerners as the most distressed and estranged.
CNG stressed that it is absolutely impossible to expect that communities would continue to fold their arms while criminals invade their abodes, kill, abduct and displace them.