Some civil society groups have asked the federal government to declare state of emergency in Zamfara state.
In a statement on Monday, the groups said the “ineptitude” of Abdulaziz Yari, governor of Zamfara, has worsened the insecurity situation in the state.
Commenting on the recent protest in the state, they said the destruction of the campaign posters of President Muhammadu Buhari shows “the extent to which people are aggrieved against the efforts so far put in place to contain the problem.”
Those who signed the statement are Jibrin Ibrahim, Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja; Abubakar Siddique Mohammed, Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Zaria; Massoud Omar, Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Zaria; and Saluihu Zubairu Mustapha and Mohammed Nasiru of the department of history, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
They said these killings have the potential of eroding the credibility of Buhari “in one of his strongholds.”
“The reckless pronouncements and ineptitude of the government of Abdulaziz Yari has further worsened the security situation in the state,” they said.
“The destruction of the campaign posters of Mr. President shows the extent to which people are aggrieved against the efforts so far put in place to contain the problem. This has the potential of eroding the credibility of Mr. President in one of his strongholds.
“Innocent citizens, made up of defenceless men, women and children are slaughtered routinely with no help in sight. Women and young girls are raped in the presence of their parents and husbands; some are kidnapped, carried into the bush, subjected to incessant rape, impregnated and sent back to their villages.
“Consequently, many villages in Zamfara state have been deserted. Economic activities have come to a standstill as farmers have been ordered by the bandits not to farm. Those who dared them have been killed. Herders are also not spared. Thousands of cattle have been rustled and many herders killed.
“Many people have also been kidnapped for ransom. These developments have had a negative impact on the Federal Government’s agricultural policy of Anchor Borrower’s Programme (ABP), and other social intervention programmes.
“So far, the security measures put in place in Zamfara have failed. The massive demonstration that took place in Tsafe yesterday against the failure of the security agencies which degenerated into the riots indicates that people’s patience has run out.
“We recommend the immediate declaration of a state of emergency in Zamfara state to enable to federal government initiate a series of actions that would address the crisis.”
They said the the killings in the state indicate “that there is a leadership vacuum in Zamfara state.”
“This, therefore calls for drastic measures to arrest the situation and prevent the descent into total anarchy, with dire consequences to Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna states and the neighbouring states of Niger Republic.
“The Zamfara crisis should become a turning point indicating a renewed determination of the Nigerian State and its security agencies move from condemning such wanton killings to checkmating the activities of the attackers.”