PRESS RELEASE BY THE BUHARISTS HANG OUT.
7th April 2019
For Immediate Release
ZAMFARA SECURITY CHALLENGES – MATTERS ARISING
The Buharists Hang Out as a citizen based platform notes with deep sadness the unfortunate security challenges in Zamfara State and that axis of the nation that have been bedevilled by kidnappings and armed Banditry for some time now.
We sincerely regret and condemn the wanton destruction of lives and properties while we condole with the good people of Zamfara State and environs. They deserve security of their lives and properties. It’s their inalienable right.
We also acknowledge the selfless and relentless efforts of our combined security agencies in finding a lasting solution to the crises. Our special commendation goes the Military and the Armed Forces in general.
We have followed events in the area with keen interest and we have also been following public perception and commentaries on the ugly situation. We have noted some degree of disappointment and sometime anger toward the President for the handling of the security crises.
However with the information in our domain, as much as we understand the pains and anxiety many are under, we want to responsibly state that some of the anger is misplaced as people might not be well informed on the efforts of the government.
We must recall that we have been down this road before but it does seems we didn’t learn much.
In the heat of the security challenges in the Benue – Nassarawa axis, many were distraught and rightly so and many were asking all manner of questions and making varied comments suggestive of the government not being concerned and not doing enough to address the problem. The President then was perceived to be insensitive, doing nothing or not doing much.
In the end we got a hang on it. When we look back today, we can see that the matter has been largely contained.
We will also now realize that it was not because of the insensitivity of the President or the unseriousness and incompetence of our security personnel but more because of the complex nature of the challenge. The politicization of the problem and skewing of the narrative by a section of the Media and many citizens also contributed to masking the actual causes and aggravating factors of the crisis thereby complicating the challenge and prolonging its resolution.
Today we know among other things that the complicity of actors in Benue of Benue origin, some of whom were known to the Governor contributed to the amorphous nature of the problem, thereby making the job of our security operatives even more difficult.
Therefore on the Zamfara issue, while our hearts bleed, it’s important that we keep these key lessons in mind.
Already what we know today have revealed some underlying causes and aggravators of the problem. Today we know that thankfully it’s not a religious or religion inclined crises. We are knowing of the role solid minerals like Gold is likely playing in the conflict as well as other sensitive security information. These are vital.
We are getting a clearer picture of the factors at play. That in our view means we are getting closer to the solution.
Some people have asked what is the President doing? While we understand their genuine frustrations, we also note that the President will not go to Zamfara state to take up arms himself even though he’s the Commander in Chief. No President does that with all due respects. What he has to do is to show leadership and the political will and commitment.
In that line, the President in addition to other measures that we may not put on print, has ordered the Minister of Defence to move to Zamfara State.
He has also ensured that the Military and other security agencies get all the resources they need.
The Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on Friday, launched code Operation Puff Adder along the Abuja-Kaduna highway. The operation will cover Abuja-Kaduna highway and the adjoining communities and extend to Kogi, Katsina, Niger and Zamfara states.
The Nigerian Army under the
Command of the President amongst other strategies on the 1st April commenced an internal security-based exercise code named “Ex Harbin Kunama IV” aimed at flushimg out armed bandits and insurgent groups from identified forest areas and strongholds in Katsina, Sokoto and Zamfara States.
All hands are now on deck. We have to have confidence in the ability of our Military and security agencies to do the needful and they have always come through.
The President himself spoke to some of these issues in the last couple of hours and he said inter alia:
“The politicization of tragedy reveals the darkest sides of our primitive politics. Almost every week, I summon my security chiefs to get an update on the strategies being devised to defeat these mass murderers.
“There is no issue that dominates my mind every 24 hours like security because, as an elected President, protecting the citizens of my country is one of the primary functions of my administration.
“I constantly listen to our security personnel in order to understand their problems and needs, and I have never hesitated to attend to those needs in terms of motivating and equipping them to respond effectively to our security challenges.
“It is therefore ridiculous to suggest that I am indifferent to these killings.
“I have ordered rapid and robust deployment of troops to all the areas currently under attack from bandits and we are determined to tackle this challenge ferociously until these remorseless killers are crushed and utterly defeated”.
Fellow Compatriots, surely this problem did not arrive in one day, so it will take time to roll it back and bring it under control and restore normalcy in the area. We sincerely hope that happens sooner than later and with no more unnecessary loss of innocent lives.
The President is the Leader and the buck stops on his table alright but we must temper our expectations and commentary with a realistic and sincere understanding of the realities – that conflicts like these are amorphous in nature, take time to develop and gain ground and therefore require intricate and often dangerous manoeuvrings and operations to contain.
We must not also forget that the active participation, assistance, support and co-operation of the citizens in the locality are vital especially in the area of information.
We sincerely pray that our Military routes these bandits quickly while we urge us all as citizens to be patient and supportive of our Military and the government.
To the government, we will not relent until security and normalcy returns to the good people of Zamfara State and indeed every part of Nigeria.
Finally we hope that lessons learnt from this crises and the Farmer/Herder Crises, both in causative and escalating factors as well as resolutions will be properly documented and internalized so that we can become more proactive, effective and efficient in preventing and managing future security challenges.
Dr Uche Diala
Buharists Hang Out