Some Northern elders have commended the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar 111 for summoning the courage to speak on the deplorable security situation in the troubled region.
According to the elders, the Sultan’s position is a true reflection of the state of insecurity in the North, which is largely responsible for the food crisis besetting the nation.
The Sultan had, on Thursday, during a meeting organised by the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) decried the precarious security situation in the North, saying the region is now the worst place to live.
Reflecting on bandits’ activities in the North West, the Sultan said: “People leave foodstuff in their houses for bandits. There is a need for urgent action through actionable engagement, as the security situation in northern Nigeria has assumed a worrisome dimension.
“A few weeks ago, over 76 persons were killed in a community in Sokoto in a day. I was there alongside the governor to commiserate with the affected community. Unfortunately, you don’t hear these stories in the media because it’s in the North. We have accepted the fact that the North doesn’t have strong media to report the atrocities of these bandits.
“People think the North is safe, but that assumption is not true. In fact, it’s the worst place to be in this country. Bandits go around villages, households, and markets with AK47 rifles and nobody is challenging them. They stop at the market, buy things, pay and collect change, with their weapons openly displayed. These are facts I know because I am at the centre of it. I am not only a traditional ruler; I am also a religious leader…
“We have to sincerely and seriously find solutions to the problem; otherwise, we will find ourselves soon, in a situation where we will be losing sleep over insecurity. As religious leaders, we must promote peace, love, unity, and tolerance among our followers… “
Reacting to the monarch’s declaration, the elders under the aegis of the Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development, in a statement signed, yesterday, by its national coordinator, Engr. Zana Goni and the National Women Leader, Mario Bichi, said the Sultan vindicated their consistent alarm on the state of insecurity in the region.
The elders, therefore, called on other prominent leaders in the region to join voices in projecting the true position of things in the North, to attract relevant authorities’ attention.
They reiterated their call on President Muhammadu Buhari to rejig and restructure the country’s security architecture, to cause meaningful change in the status quo.