That Gov Matawalle’s Guns for Residents in Zamfara By Abubakar Alkali
POLITICS DIGEST- Zamfara state Governor Bello Matawalle has clearly admitted the failure of his government to provide security by asking people to acquire guns and rifles to defend themselves against the killer Fulani bandits hence he (Governor Matawalle) should resign if he cannot pick up a gun to lead the attack against the bandits.
The order is all but medicine after death.
Early this year, Katsina state governor Bello Masari told residents in the state to take up arms or even use catapult to fight the bandits holding AK-47 assault rifles and other sophisticated weapons. Has his order made any impact? NO
If anything, cases of banditry have increased since Masari’s order.
Now his neighbour, governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state is issuing the same order which will definitely not change anything. It is only a political chess game to cajole the good people of Zamfara state and give them a false hope into believing that the state government is doing something killer bandits when in essence, it (Zamfara state government) fuelled banditry by given the bandits what it called ‘amnesty.
Bandits do not deserve amnesty.
Amnesty is normally for political prisoners, agitators, opinion-moulders, trade unionists and other civil offences but not for killers and terrorists such as bandits.
The records of banditry-related killings in Zamfara state are in the public space: In 2021, 703 innocent people were killed in Zamfara state by bandits (the highest number of bandits related killings per state in Nigeria). The cable online news media reported that between January – March 2022, bandits killed 327 innocent people in Zamfara state (second to Niger state which recorded 448 deaths within the period).
The report also stated that 14 innocent people are killed EVERYDAY in 2021 in Nigeria from banditry and other forms of violence.
As a matter of fact between January 4-6 2022, a spate of TWO days), over 200 people were killed by bandits in villages within Anka and Bukkuyum local government areas of Zamfara state. This sounds like figures from a war zone indeed.
200 people killed within TWO days! That’s 100 people per day.
It is scary.
As a matter of fact, the Zamfara state government has no constitutional power to issue an order to residents to carry arms because defence falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government in the exclusive legislative list.
Defence is No. 17 in Part 1, Second Schedule , exclusive legislative list of the CFRN 1999 (as amended). Based on this provision of the constitution, neither Governor Bello Matawalle nor the Zamfara state house of assembly have any powers to issue an order or legislate on defence matters or ask people to carry arms. Only the National Assembly can legislate on such matters. By the way, Governor Matawalle was only making a political statement by such order which will not change anything. Issuing such orders is not the way to stop the march of the bandits as they move to take over some states in Northern Nigeria with Zamfara being the most likely.
This statement coming from a state governor shows insensitivity and is akin to telling the people of Zamfara state that ‘you are on your own’
Indeed, the governors of the South west didn’t tell their indigenes to ‘defend yourselves’. They rose and set up AMOTEKUN local vigilante force and to prove to their people that they (the south west governors) know exactly why they are in office.
S. 14(2)(b) of the 1999 constitution states that ‘the security of lives and property shall be the primary purpose of government. If Governor Matawalle of Zamfara state can make this solemn admission of failure and still remain in office, then something is wrong with Nigeria’s democracy.
ZAMFARA RESIDENTS CAN’T AFFORD AK-47, MG OR A.A.
Average rate of Poverty in Northern Nigeria is almost 80% so how could the average northerner afford AK-47 assault rifle to face the bandits who use AK-47, anti-aircraft (AA), MG and other sophisticated rifles? Did Governor Matawalle meant the people should use catapult to face a bandit with AK-47? That’s more understandable than asking a poor man to go buy AK-47 rifle which costs between N450,000 -N500,000 in the open market.
Based on statistics from the National bureau of statistics (NBS), Zamfara state is the poorest state in Nigeria despite its huge Gold deposits. Clearly, the Zamfara state government doesn’t know what to do with the Gold deposit in the state hence the very high rate of poverty in the state. All that is important to the Zamfara authorities is politics not human lives and dignity.
Poverty has made the Zamfara communities too weak to defend themselves against the killer Fulani bandits. It is the responsibility of government at ALL levels to protect the people and not to pass the buck to them and avoid taking responsibility. After all, they (politicians) sought people’s votes on the condition that they will provide security to protect them and their property.
MU TUNA FA, AKWAI AMANA DA HISABI
The state governor Bello Matawalle has sworn with the Quran to provide security to the people during his swearing in because security is in section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 constitution and he has sworn to protect the constitution.
Mu tuna, Akwai Amana fa!
Akwai Ranar Tashin AlQiyama da HISABI.
SET UP AND EQUIP LOCAL VIGILANTE YAN SAKAI FOR ZAMFARA STATE
The Zamfara state government should up its game on security by establishing a strong local vigilante force -Yan Sakai- to work with the conventional security agencies -military and the police under community policing- to smoke out the criminal bandits from the forests and decimate them. This makes a better sense than asking people to defend themselves which will not work anyway.
In their attempt to avoid taking responsibility and employ the blame game, state governors in Northern Nigeria, short of knowing the solution to banditry and/or lack of liver to apply measures against the bandits, even prefer to pass the buck to the federal government as they erroneously claim that states have nothing to do with security. These state governors claim that the provision of security lies with the federal government not with the states. This is far from the truth.
In an attempt not to take responsibility, some of these Northern governors sarcastically claim that they don’t control the military and the police so the President should provide security while they use the state’s cash for politics or as they deem fit.
While not holding forth for the federal government, it is fair to say that the 3 tiers of government- federal, state and local government- all have a role to play in the provision of security for lives and property. S.14(2)(b) of the 1999 constitution states that ‘the provision of security to lives and property shall be the primary purpose of government’
This includes all tiers – federal state and local government. It didn’t say ‘Provision of security is the primary purpose of the ‘federal government’. It says ‘government’ so state governments are also captured in S.14(2)(b).
The local vigilante Yan Sakai should comprise of hunters, marabouts, necromancers, clairvoyants etc.
We have seen it with AMOTEKUN where the 6 governors of the South West put politics aside and pooled resources to float AMOTEKUN regional vigilante force which everyone has seen on the ground making a mark in the provision of security in the south west region.
LOCAL VIGILANTE Yan Sakai are the bandits nightmare: The bandits fear Yan Sakai more than they fear the military and the police. Hence anytime the bandits ask for a truce, their first condition is that the government should ban local vigilante Yan Sakai. The bandits are clever by half.
The Bandits outsmarted the governor of Zamfara state Bello Matawalle in 2019 when he took amnesty to them on a platter of gold and before they accepted his unsolicited amnesty, they gave him the condition to ban Yan Sakai in Zamfara state which he (Governor Matawalle) promptly complied with. History and facts on the ground have shown that Gov Matawalle’s Amnesty programme never worked. To the contrary, the so-called amnesty programmes of Zamfara state only surreptitiously emboldened the bandits and gave them (bandits) a blank cheque to commit mass murder, abduct and kill innocent people in the state. If Governor Matawalle had allowed the local vigilante Yan Sakai in Zamfara state in 2019, the problem of banditry in the state and entire Northern region would have been a thing of the past or at least brought down to the barest minimum.
Although his excellency Bello Matawalle later recanted and withdrew his amnesty to the bandits last year, it was damn too late because the amnesty programme had given the bandits a good space to build their arsenal, gain more experience and hold more ground which they continuously use to unleash unprecedented abductions, mass murder, gang rapes and all forms of carnage on the innocent people of Zamfara state.
Governor Matawalle should deploy the state’s resources to fund LOCAL VIGILANTE YAN SAKAI to work with our gallant soldiers and the police in decimating these terrorist bandits before Zamfara is fully brought down on its knees.
A strong Local vigilante Yan Sakai funded, supported, equipped and motivated by state governors and backed up with information and communications technology (ICT) is the ultimate solution to the problem of banditry in Northern Nigeria.
Nobody offers unsolicited amnesty to a criminal who kills, maims, displaces and rapes innocent people.
Amnesty made the bandits think that they are above the law and the Zamfara state government is weak that is why it (government) is begging and pampering them.
How can a criminal kidnap and kill your own people and you offer such a person amnesty? Haba!
We should remember that power is transient
What the law and the constitution say is that a criminal should face justice and not offered amnesty or treated like a king or a celebrity of some sort.
Did you hear the Governors in the South West or South East or South South or even North Central contemplate offering amnesty to bandits? NO
It can only happen in the North where politicians use religion as a weapon of deception and to remain in power at all costs.
The North is still not prepared to fight the bandits. The federal government, state governors, local governments, Islamic clerics, civil servants including the elite, politicians, their errand boys, other leaders of thought, traditional rulers, community leaders, the youths and all of us should share the blame.
The military and other security agencies are making huge sacrifices and trying their best within available resources to stop the march of the bandits but more needs to be done to clean this mess called banditry before it consumes the nation.
ALL OF US HAVE FAILED OUR OWN PEOPLE IN NORTHERN NIGERIA.