John Shiklam in Kaduna
The senator representing Kaduna Central at the Senate, Shehu Sani, yesterday urged governments to take more proactive measures to address the overwhelming security challenges facing the Northern part of the country, saying that the geopolitical zone is under siege.
Sani spoke while receiving groups from Birnin Gwari, Chikun Local Government Areas and representatives of Zamfara indigenes resident in Kaduna.
The groups presented a letter of complaint on the insecurity challenges facing them in their various communities for onward submission to the National Assembly.
Sani said the entire Northern region was currently under siege and being faced with various security challenges.
“Today the entire Northern Nigeria is under siege. In the North West it is the armed bandits, the North Central is experiencing Herdsmen attacks and the North East is ravaged by insurgents.
“In Kajuru, it is Muslims and Christians against one another, in Birnin Gwari it is banditry and kidnapping and along Kaduna Abuja Highway, it is kidnapping and raping.
“I have been visiting you regularly and this time you are in my residence. I have listened to your lamentation, tears, cries and appeals. I believe any conscious Nigerian is aware of what you are facing in Birnin Gwari.
“I must say the issue of Birnin Gwari reflects the fears and dangers we are facing in North West today.
“Kidnapping is what we used to hear of in Niger Delta. Today Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Niger and Zamfara States are under siege,” Sani said.
Sani, however, blamed the challenges of the region on the lukewarm attitude of the Northern political leaders.
According to the senator, one of the problems of northern leaders is sycophancy, which is now making the region bleed with overwhelming killings.
He urged residents of the affected areas to rise to face the situation by challenging those in the position of authority to do the needful and tackle the situation.
“The most ideal thing is to face the situation and question those that we have elected into positions of authority,” he said.
Leader of the Coalition of Birnin Gwari Associations, Nasir Khalid, in the protest letter, said several communities had been under attack of bandits since the eve of the general elections to date.
He said no fewer than 40 drivers had been killed in the last three months, while several communities in Kaduna, Zamfara and Katsina were ransacked.
Khalid lamented that the various governments had continued to pay lip service towards addressing the situation.
He appealed to the senator to deliver the letter to the Senate in particular for immediate intervention.