Insecurity: Shutdown of communication, closure of schools, others will worsen citizens’ lives in North ― NEF

The Northern Elders Forum, (NEF), has said that the recent suspension of weekly markets, restrictions on the sale of petrol, curfews, movement of cattle and restriction communication, in the northern part of the country will compound the desperate conditions of living of many communities in the region.

NEF said it is closely following the condition of many northern communities that have become particularly vulnerable to attacks and abuse by bandits, kidnappers and related organised criminals.

The Director, Publicity and Advocacy of NEF, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday, said these measures represent virtual economic and social lockdowns on people who had been at the mercy of criminals for a long time.

According to the Forum, “Measures being taken by some State governments such as suspension of weekly markets, restrictions on the sale of petrol, closure of schools and some roads, curfews, movement of cattle and plans to restrict communication, will compound the desperate conditions of living of many communities in the North.

“These measures represent virtual economic and social lockdowns on people who had been at the mercy of criminals for a long time. Unless they are accompanied by an aggressive and effective assault on the banditry and kidnapping industry, they will merely add to the misery and hopelessness of our communities”, part of the statement reads.

Baba-Ahmed added that these measures could further embolden the bandit and the kidnappers when it becomes clear that governments and security agencies cannot go beyond lockdowns on communities.

“The Forum calls on the Federal Government to assist States to relieve communities that are now living under additional pressures.

“State governments imposing additional hardships on communities must know that the measures they are introducing must produce tangible results within a period that makes them meaningful and tolerable”, the NEF further stated.

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