KADUNA – Worried by the constant attacks by bandits and criminally-minded people on communities in the northern part of the country, a former House of Representatives member and the convener of the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP), Dr. Usman Bugaje, has lamented that kidnapping had become a strong industry defying all proffered solutions.
Consequently he has concluded arrangements for a summit where leaders of thought, traditional leaders and governors of the region would come up with concrete decision and strategies on how to tackle the menace.
Bugaje who disclosed this on Monday while addressing the media in Kaduna said the security situation in the country was perhaps today the biggest single issue that faces the nation.
He said, “It is one issue that has over time continued to worsen and it is one issue that is about to ground the whole country.
“The one decade Boko Haram insurgency has sapped the human and material resources of the Federal and state governments and has yet remained protracted.
“The rural banditry previously localized, has now spread all over the country, particularly the North, taking heavy toll and displacing an increasing number of citizens.
“The Kidnapping for ransom phenomenon has become a strong industry defying solutions,” Bugaje lamented.
Bugaje noted that the ethno-religious crises and the farmer-harder conflicts were not abating while the urban violence perpetrated by the increasing army of unemployed youths continue to strike terror in the urban residents and continue to hold urban communities under siege.
The elder statesman said the efforts of the security agencies had not yielded much result.
“Insurgency continues with heavy casualties on the military formations. Rural banditry has been raging and expelling hundreds daily. Every other security challenge has been on the increase.”
“Assurances by the security agencies have become increasingly hollow. The military are over-stretched, being deployed in over 30 states. Having lost hope, many communities are resorting to self-help.
“This means that various communities are securing their own weapons and organising their defences. This creates a whole new dimension to the security crisis as it leads to further proliferation of small arms among citizens and irredeemably leads to anarchy.
“Once anarchy sets in it leads to total breakdown of law and order and as with other African countries, it takes a whole generation to recover.”
Bugaje said efforts of the security agencies need to be boosted by a robust and coordinated community support which has prompted them to start a wide consultation as to the way out of the imbroglio.
“Following these consultations, we at the ARDP decided to call for a conference on Northern security to do a thorough analysis of the various security challenges and get the experts to provide solutions particularly the co-ordination and the regulation of the community responses.
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