The Coalition of Northern Groups, (CNG), has urged residents of Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Niger States to protect themselves against terror groups who might want to attack or impose levies and taxes on them.
The CNG’s National Coordinator, Balarabe Rufa’i, stated this while briefing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, after its meeting to review the security situation in the region.
The northern group, which observed that there had been reports of an upsurge in killings, abductions, maiming and exploitation by AK47-wielding non-State actors in the 4 States, said it was high time people rise up to defend themselves against internal aggressors.
He said, “The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has reviewed the resurgence of violent attacks across some northern states in the recent days with deep concern.
“We are deeply disturbed by the despicable and irrepressible decimation and elimination of our people; the destruction of their livelihood; raping and exploitation of our women and extorting our poverty-stricken villages and towns by terrorists.
“In the last few days, armed bandits/terrorists across four northern states of Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Niger States have killed scores of helpless and defenseless citizens, in addition, multiple kidnappings and other forms of exploitations. Regrettably, these killings, abductions, maiming and exploitations have been going on incessantly with no respite in sight.
“CNG has gathered shocking and frightening information that suggests that some of our villages are firmly under the control of the bandits where levies or taxes are imposed on our people, subjecting our poor people into further economic deprivation and devastation. The stories are condemnably demoralizing as over 500 innocent, defenseless and impoverished northerners were killed systematically in the last four weeks.
“Given the above happenings, the CNG observed that: Governments at all levels, particularly the Federal Government, has surrendered their rights and privileges to the bandits/terrorists, as the bandits operate parallel governments in villages and communities in Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Niger States where they impose taxes and levies on the villages and kill people at will.
“Governments and its functionaries lack the political will and determination to decisively deal with the problems once and for all.
The security forces are grossly understaffed, ill-equipped and poorly motivated to confront the monstrous terrorists aggressively to eliminate them from their hideouts. It is also alleged that top security personnel are siphoning the little resources earmarked to prosecute the war.
“Therefore, the CNG calls on traditional rulers to stand with their people at this difficult and scary situation to confront the challenge for our collective survival”.
“The CNG advocates concerted and strategic efforts to create an independent-community based security outfit that can be funded through community efforts, donations from wealthy individuals, friends and associates of the North among others to take the war against this imminent existential threat to the hideouts of the hardened criminals.
“Hence, our people must rise up in an organised manner and defend themselves from the systematic and genocidal annihilation; plundering of their resources and extortion by their terrorist-enemies”, Rufa’i added.