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Zamfara killings: Security experts, CSOs flay Buhari, service chiefs

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Security experts and civil society organisations have slammed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and the service chiefs following the killings in Zamfara State last week.

At least 200 persons were reportedly killed after bandits invaded some villages in the Anka and Bukkuyum Local Government Areas of the state.

 In an interview with our correspondent, a member of the International Security Association, Switzerland, Jackson Ojo, called for the resignation of the service chiefs, saying they lacked the justification to still retain their positions owing to the wanton killings in the country.

 He said, “What are the responsibilities of the service chiefs when killings and abductions are going on every day? If half of the killings in Nigeria were to happen in America, heads would have rolled or the persons in charge would have resigned.

“I see no reason anyone should tell the National Security Adviser to resign, the same with the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Army Staff and the IGP; they should resign.”

A security risk management and intelligence executive, Kabiru Adamu, said measures should have been put in place to curtail the relocation of the bandits.

He said, “The Zamfara attack was possible because of the absence of a strategy and framework at the national level to address this issue. The use of operations like that of Hadri Daji is a knee-jerk reaction.

“Someone within the security architecture should have anticipated that bombardment of these terrorists would lead to a relocation; that person should have put in place preventive measures to protect vulnerable communities. We were told there were about 200 motorcycles, numbering about 500 bandits; imagine if we had good intelligence, one jet bomber would have just gone and dropped a bomb on them and it would have killed them all.”

A former Chairman of Transparency International Nigeria, Major General Ishola Williams (retd.), regretted that the Federal Government keeps telling Nigerians that the security situation is getting better.

He said, “After making such announcement, those terrorists would find a way to prove it is not and they are in control. If the governor of Katsina is telling citizens to go and buy guns, what does that imply? Most of the governors have given up on the security agencies, even though they have spent money on them.

“They have created a situation that shows they do not know what to do about the terrorists. It is not about a change of strategy; they are acting as if they do not know what to do anymore.”

 The Convener, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, attributed the Zamfara incident and other killings in the country to tribal sentiment.

 He said, “Killings have become a new normal and this is because of tribal sentiment; it makes it difficult for the security architecture of our country to function effectively, and when a problem is left unattended to on this account, it becomes intractable.”

The President, Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, Jonathan Asake, described killings and abductions under the Buhari regime as a business by some persons.

He said, “There is a kind of conspiracy on the part of the government and security agencies that we don’t seem to understand; let’s just say it is a business, that is why our security agencies have not been allowed to do their work.

 “That’s why we are saying the leadership of Buhari has a lot to answer. Criminality has skyrocketed under his watch. It would only take a responsive leadership to reverse this trend.”

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