Thursday, July 18, 2024

North-West governors urged to show political will in fight against bandits 

“The zone has the largest number of out-of-school children and the highest number of Almajiris, poorly equipped schools, hospitals, bad roads, etc.,” said the group.

• July 5, 2024
North-West governors
North-West governors

A group, the Patriots for the Advancement of Peace and Social Development, said governors in the North-West need the political will to fight banditry and other vices behind insecurity in the zone.

The group’s executive director, Sani Shinkafi, said this in a statement.

“The problems in the zone require political will and pragmatic actions, not empty rhetoric as obtainable in the past 12 years, which has not changed the narrative. The governors should accelerate the development of the zone through education, wealth creation, and social amenities that will impact the lives of the people,” Mr Shinkafi said.

He said that organising peace and security summits and conferences within and outside Nigeria was not the solution to the zone’s insecurity but political will and pragmatic actions.

Mr Shinkafi said it was on record that the geopolitical zone had the largest land mass and 30 per cent of the country’s total population. He added that the First Republic North-West zone has produced prominent citizens who have served in various capacities in the federal government. 

“The zone has the largest number of out-of-school children and the highest number of Almajiris, poorly equipped schools, hospitals, bad roads etc. The zone is neglected by past and present leaders. Agriculture, which is the mainstream of the region, is neglected in spite of abundant, fruitful land mass.

“There is no political will to engage in large-scale farming. Certainly, there is no commitment from state governors in the region to invest in commercial farming and livestock development. The region has abundant solid minerals, including gold, copper, rhodium, gemstones, kaolin, berates and lithium. Sadly, there is no political will to develop these mineral resources since the discovery of oil,” he said.

Mr Shinkafi said that the recent North-West summit on the security of life and livelihoods would welcome development if governors were spurred to implement people-oriented projects to ensure the security and welfare of the people for rapid zone development.

He said some leaders in the zone failed to invest in education, building primary and secondary schools, adult education, and Almajiri schools, leading to a high rate of illiteracy in the region.

He said that if governors of the region were committed to food production by providing tractors, harvesters, sprayers, insecticides, pesticides and farmers’ credit schemes, the region would feed the nation and export some agricultural produce.

He advised various state governments in the region to apply kinetic and non-kinetic approaches to the fight against insecurity in the region.

Mr Shinkafi also advised the governors in the region to be proactive and create jobs for the youth to reduce unemployment and poverty.

Mr Shinkafi also advised governors to constitute peace and security trust funds to support security operations in various states, including Niger in North-Central, which shares border with Zamfara, Kebbi, Katsina and Kaduna.

(NAN)

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