Nigeria Passing Through Most Difficult Times, Says Masari


Francis Sardauna in Katsina

Irked by the spate of killings and destruction of properties by hoodlums across Nigeria, the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, has said the country is passing through one of its most difficult times in its history.

Masari stated this at the weekend while inaugurating a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate the excesses and extra-judicial activities of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police Force in the state.

He, therefore, called for the deployment of democratic tenets, culture and conventions that will mitigate the predicaments and eradicate the wanton killings and destruction of properties afflicting the country.

According to him, “As you are all aware, the country is passing through one of its most trying periods in our history. It therefore calls for deployment of democratic tenets, culture and conventions to confront the problems.

“Chapter four of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria provides for the fundamental objectives and principles of state policy to include: ‘the security and welfare of the people and shall be the primary responsibility of the government and that the participation of people in their government shall be ensured in accordance with the provisions of the constitution’.”

He said the Nigeria Police are scheduled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property of citizens; prevention and investigation of all crimes and offences committed against the state, but contrary actions remain the problem of the force.

According to the governor, “The citizens of Nigeria have been complaining about the way and manner the police are discharging their constitutional responsibilities, and this, therefore, calls for reforms of the institution.”

Masari, however, said he has inaugurated the judicial panel in compliance with the presidential directive and the powers conferred on him under the constitution and Katsina State Commission of Inquiry Law, Cap 29.

He charged members of the panel to identify officers and men of the dismantled SARS directly or indirectly involved in the excesses, including extra- judicial actions, and ascertain the roles played by such officers and individuals in instigating, aiding or abetting such extra- judicial actions and apportion blame.

The 11-man panel has Justice Abbas Abdullahi Bawale of the state High Court as chairman, and Ibrahim Muhammad Daku as the secretary, and has eight weeks to submit its report.

Other members of the panel are Retired AIG Danlami Yar’adua, Mustapha Ibrahim Zango, Bello Musa Dankano, Prof. Usman Dhun-nurain, Rabi Mohammed, Ibrahim Ahmad Katsina, Dikko Abbas and Aliyu Usman.