Zamfara banditry: CSOs heap blames on Defence Chief, defend Yari

A coalition of civil society groups has put the blamed the insecurity in Zamfara state on the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, rather than Governor Abdulazzi Yari.

The coalition made up of the Peoples Alliance for Indigenous Rights (PAIR), Society for Gender Equity (SGE), Network for Onward Nigeria (NeO), and The Peoples Collective (TPC), accused the defence chief of doing little or nothing to stem the tide

The coalition, in a press statement signed by it’s National Publicity Officer, Mallam Isa  Yaro, Sunday in Abuja, said Governor Yari has done what the constitution permits by providing logistics, communication gadgets, housing and special allowances for police and the military posted to the state without commensurate support from the Ministry of Defence. 

The group described as tragic and unfortunate that the federal government has failed to arrest the security challenge in Zamfara for over two years now, stressing that President Muhammad Buhari ought to have sacked the Minister of Defence long ago.

“What we find happening in Zamfara state is not only unfortunate but tragic. It is inconceivable that two years on, the federal government has failed to address the orgy of killings in Zamfara state,” Yaro said.

“All the blame trading and trying to put Governor Yari as the main culprit is reprehensible. We all know that governors are merely chief security officers by name without inherent powers. For long the governor of Zamfara state has raised alarm over the buildup of a vicious militia with those responsible at the centre doing little or nothing about it.

“From our findings, the Zamfara government has spent several millions in kitting, communication gadgets and allowances for the police and military posted to the state. What we need to ask is how much leverage has the Minister of Defence, who is from the state, leveraged to address the carnage?” he asked.

According Yaro, it was good that there is now a deployment of Special Forces to the state but appealed to President Buhari to learn from his past appointments in choosing those who will realize his Next Level Agenda come May 29.

On Saturday, some protestors stormed Aso Rock presidential to the protest the relentless killings in Zamfara state, blaming the governor for not showing “enough concern about killings” in the state.

Media personality and one of the conveners of the protest, Kadaria Ahmed, accused Yari of being concerned “about the people of Zamfara when it comes to politics.”

She said,  “Our people are being killed like flies and it does not seem to matter to anybody, so that is why we are here and that is why we are marching.”

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