Emir of Argungu in Kebbi state Alhaji Samaila Mera has urged the judiciary to be fair and just in deciding cases between herdsmen and farmers in order to arrest banditry in the country.
At the height of senseless killings in Zamfara state, the federal government suspended mining activities in the state and asked foreigners to quit.
Further to that, the federal government said some monarchs were providing cover and conniving with the bandits.
The minister of defence, Munir Dan’ Ali, who made the claim however came under fire when the monarchs asked him to name names.
And in what appears a confirmation of government’s position, troops on Operation HABIN KUNAMA III recently arrested 18 informants, including the village heads of Doka and Mutu alleged to be providing the criminals with sensitive information in the state.
Similarly, as part of efforts at ridding the state of bandits, the troops also killed six of the hoodlums in Kirsa and Sunke in Anka local government area of the state.
Monarch reasons differently
However, in another perspective, Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Mera, was of the opinion that more than any other cause, injustice was greatly responsible for the high-level banditry in the state and its neighbours.
The emir gave the advice Tuesday at the launch of operation PUFF ADDER by the Kebbi state Police Command in Birnin Kebbi.
He said: “I urge the judiciary to ensure speedy dispensation of justice on herder/farmer cases as part of effort to tackle the menace of banditry and other criminal activities in Kebbi.”
Mera expressed concerns over unfair treatment of Fulani herdsmen, especially by local vigilantes, saying this aggravated the situation.
“Only a court of law should be allowed to dispense justice to anyone suspected of committing an offence,” the monarch stated, saying justice and fairness were the foundation of peace in any society.
He said the security challenges in Zamfara state could be traced to injustice and not allowing the law to take its full course in matters involving Fulani herdsmen.
Speaking at the event, Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Garba Danjuma appealed to the general public to provide security agencies with useful information about activities of the criminals.
“I am appealing to the general public to always provide the police and other security agencies in the state with timely and useful information about the activities of criminals and their collaborators around their communities with a view to nipping their activities at the bud.”
Danjuma said police would not relent “until our homes and highways are made safe and secured.”
The commissioner said useful information would help police to checkmate the activities of bandits and criminals.
In her remarks, the state’s acting Chief Judge, Justice Asebe Karatu, said the judiciary would not compromise justice in any way, assuring that justice would be delivered speedily without fear or favour.
”We are going to strengthen our efforts to ensure that criminals are convicted according the laws of the country,” the judge said.
Buratai on terrorism
In a related development, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai has described insurgency as a complex phenomenon that requires efforts of all to contain.
Declaring open the Infantry Corp Conference 2019 Tuesday at the Ihejirika Auditorium, Jaji Military Cantonment, he said, the Nigerian Armed Forces had done its best and would continue to protect the country’s territorial integrity, but requires the contribution of the civil populace and all Nigerians.
He said the Nigerian Army, with infantry corps and support from other corps and other security arms, had dealt decisively with Boko Haram insurgents in the North -east of the country.
The army chief said, “Today, we have the full initiative and in collaboration with other sister agencies, we are pushing hard to ensure that we finally sanitise the northern Borno and our borders’ axis with Niger, Chad and Cameroon. We know they have plans but we are also planning to counter them and we will deploy maximum intelligence to capture those that ran to the hinterland.
“Terrorism is a complex warfare, which needs the involvement of every individual in the country, which if we are able to do, will contain the criminals. It should not be left for the security personnel or governments at all levels, or the traditional rulers. It is a joint responsibility and we are all stakeholders.
“These criminals are not coming from the blues. They live among us in the society. They go to the markets and buy foodstuffs just like the rest of us. Some of them go to naming and marriage ceremonies. It is our responsibility to make everybody aware, that we all have a role to play in bringing the activities of these criminal elements to an end.”
In his remark, the guest speaker, Major General Alexander Mshelbwala (retd), said there was need for officers and men of the infantry corps to buckle up for the uncharted tomorrow.
In his welcome address, Commander Infantry Corps, Maj.-Gen. Stevenson Olabanji said despite the security challenges the country is faced with, the army under its present leadership, had received a boost in terms of infrastructural and human development in all its formations across the country.
This, he said, had made it possible to deal decisively with Boko Harram terrorists and other insurgents.
He said the gathering presented opportunity for the infantry to interact and brainstorm on contemporary issues affecting the nation in general and the army in particular.
“The nation is currently grappling with a lot of security challenges with scourge of tourism in the North-east being the most prominent. The infantry corps has been at the vanguard of Nigerian Army’s efforts in combating these multi pronged threats and in the process making high demands on our personnel, equipment and other materials,” he said
The infantry corps, also known as “foot soldiers” is the largest formation in the Nigerian Army.