CSOs urge defence, interior ministers to account for Zamfara Killings
Worried by the continuous killing of citizens in Zamfara State, some Civil Society Groups under the aegis of Coalition of Democratic Watchdogs of Nigeria has urged the nation’s Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali to explain why the killings have continued unabated for a long period.
The group was equally demanding explanation from the Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd) for the loss of several innocent lives as a result of the skirmishes.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on behalf of the group, Comrade Yunusa Idris, maintained that the primary responsibility of government was to protect lives and property and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to live up to the occasion of security for which he was primarily voted for.
Here is the full text of the briefing
On Wednesday 26th December, 2018, suspected bandits struck yet again in Birnin Magaji Local Government Area of Zamfara State, killing scores of Nigerians who were murdered in cold blood in their farms while harvesting sweet potatoes. This murder is one too many of such series of murder in Zamfara State especially when the government is encouraging Nigerians to invest in Agriculture. Now, the farms are far from being safe.
The bandits made a return in the evening of Wednesday, 2018 and ransacked some villages around, unmolested and unperturbed. Most of the villages surrounding Birnin Magaji Local Government Area such as Ballaka, Tsalle, Gidan Kare, Katsinawa, Garin Boka and Garin Kaka are deserted due to repeated attacks by the bandits. Persons residing in such villages are now seeking refuge at the council headquarters and some other places.
Some of the LGAs mostly affected by armed bandits and cattle rustlers in Zamfara state includes; Tsafe, Zurmi, Shankafi, Maradun, Maru and Birnin Magaji Local Government Areas.
Ironically, the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali is from Birnin Magaji. One of the areas mostly ravaged by these unending attacks.
Now, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is unambiguous and clear that the primary responsibility of Government is to protect lives and property of her citizens.
We may wish to ask what could be happening in the case of Nigerian citizens resident in Zamfara State?
For how long would this level of unprecedented carnage continue unabated?
Mr. Mansur Dan Ali, who is the current Minister of Defence needs to provide answers to these unending killings in Zamfara state.
The Presidency must tell Nigerians why these mindless killings cannot be stopped and perpetrators made to face the full wrath of the law. This is no time for blame game as Nigerians are murdered in scores daily. Nigerians therefore require answers. Quick one at that.
Nigerians Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (rtd) needs to explain why the continuing killings in Zamfara State.
President Muhammadu Buhari as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces is by this medium reminded that the security apparatus of the Nigerian state is commanded by him and not the Local Government Chairmen or the Governors as the case may be. The 2015 election victory of President Buhari was also premised on security. But very saddening, this security has consistently eluded the average Nigerian citizen.
As patriotic Nigerian citizens, the Coalition of Democratic Watchdogs of Nigeria therefore demand for answers to these very germane and pertinent questions as our right in not more than a fortnight of this press briefing. This is consequent to our mandate as Civil Society Organizations in furtherance to the sanctity of human life en route an enduring democratic ethos of the Nigerian state.