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Do more to safeguard the North, ACF tells FG

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Ben Agande, Kaduna.

The Arewa Consultative Forum has called on the federal government and security agencies to “do more” to safeguard the north, which has been described by the Northern Elders Forum as bandits land.

In a Communiqué issued at the end of its national executive council meeting in Kaduna, the ACF said the government must evolve strategies to address the peculiar security challenge of each zone in the country.

The communique which was signed by Ibrahim Biu, ACF’s publicity secretary said the security agencies should take the right to the bandits.

The forum condemned the crisis. Between the Tivs and Jukun in Benue and Taraba states respectively and called for an end to the bloodletting.

Part of the communique reads: “The National Executive Council of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) held its quarterly meeting today under the chairmanship of Sen. Abubakar H. Girei, mni, Vice Chairman who stood in for the Ag. Chairman Alhaji Musa Liman Kwande, Baraden Lafia, who was unavoidably absent. Members from the 19 Northern States and FCT attended the meeting.

“The meeting discussed exhaustively security challenges especially the ruaway banditry involving kidnappings and killings of innocent people on the highways and frequent attacks on communities giving rise to growing death toll in States of Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Taraba, etc it, however, noted that the underlying causes of insecurities differ from one geopolitical zone to another, hence the need for government to consciously develop appropriate measures to contain the situation.

“The Council noted the effort of the security agencies and urged them to do more and take the war to the criminals that have continued to make life unbearable to our people. The Council calls upon Federal Government to take drastic measures that will restore normalcy, peace, and harmony in the affected States in order to assuage the fears of the people in particular Zamfara state where the bandit’s activities have been most cruel and devastating to the socioeconomic and political life of the people.

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“The Council also notes with concern the most recent communal clashes between the Tiv and Jukun communities in Benue and Taraba states respectively with attendant loss of lives and destruction of properties on both sides. The Council condemned this unnecessary enmity between communities that have peacefully co-existed over the years and called on the States affected to put in a peacebuilding mechanism that will ensure harmony among the various groups.

“The Council notes with concern the recent communal clash between Mada ethnic group and Fulani settlement in Akwanga Local Government Area of Nasarawa State and condemns such heinous crimes. It calls on the Security agencies to fish out the perpetrators and bring them to justice. Council also appeals to the communities to avoid using reprisal attacks as a way of addressing concerns, since such reprisals make victims of those who know nothing about the feuds. It, therefore, appeals for due process in addressing such grievances among the various communities.

“On the issue of more than 10 million children that are out of school in the North, the Council noted with concern the increase in the number of Almajiris and children roaming the streets and the unfortunate attitude of our state’s governors towards the development of education.

Recently the Emirs and Chiefs in the North organized a conference on this burning issue where it discussed and issued a communique on how the Northern States should tackle the situation. Unfortunately, very few states attended the Conference or even send representatives.
Furthermore, the Minister of Education recently lamented the attitude of States government to access funds at the Universal Basic Education Commission for primary education development by paying their counterpart funding. This is an unfortunate development, Council, therefore, appealed to the Northern States government to seriously address this out-of-school children menace to avoid further escalation of insecurity and other vices that have bedeviled the North. Illiteracy, poverty, and drug abuses are a result of poor education and nonchalant attitude of our leaders to good governance” he said.

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