Plateau state governor and chairman, Northern Governors Forum, Simon Bako Lalong, has decried the upsurge of attacks on traditional rulers in Nigeria, saying it is an attempt by criminals to intimidate them against exposing crimes within their domains in order to totally subdue the entire population.
Governor Lalong made the statement at the annual Sir Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation lecture, Tuesday, in Kano.
He said it was very worrisome to see that traditional rulers becoming victims of kidnapping, murder and other violent attacks by criminals simply because they stand against their activities or mobilise their subjects to reject them.
In a statement by his spokesman, Dr. Makut Macham, Lalong said the situation whereby traditional rulers are abducted portends danger as the criminals seek to dominate the environment and dictate the affairs of society through criminality.
“This must be fought with vigour as criminals must be flushed out in every community.
“We condemn in strong terms this shameful and unacceptable act, and call on the security agencies to ensure that these incidences are dealt with swiftly.
“As governors, we will activate all machineries to ensure that such persons and their sponsors are brought to book.
“Failure to do so will not only weaken the Traditional Institution, but also damage its reputation thereby making it incapable of contributing to finding lasting solutions to the lingering security challenges in the Northern Region and the nation at large.
“The result of insecurity is displacement, hunger and food shortages that have resulted from many farmers being unable to go to the farms to produce food.
“Therefore, all hands must be on deck to tackle the situation and give our people the confidence and guarantee to pursue their means of livelihood without fear of harassment, molestation or death,” he said.
Lalong, who was chairman of the event, also frowned at allegations that fingered some traditional rulers of aiding and abetting criminals.