VP Shettima blames Corrupt governance for kidnapping, banditry in North


Vice President Kashim Shettima said this weekend that corrupt governance was responsible for the crisis of insecurity and banditry in the north.

Shettima spoke as the Southern Kaduna Christian Leaders Association, SCKLA, commended the Nigerian Army for its peace-building efforts in Southern Kaduna, but called on the army to do more to guarantee a more secure society in the area.

This is even as the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural and political organisation, Afenifere, expressed concern over the upsurge of kidnapping and other violent crimes in the South West and other parts of the country and again, called on President Bola Tinubu to urgently convene stakeholders meeting to tackle the menace.

The vice president, who made the declaration at the 10th Annual Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation lecture and award hosted by Borno State governor, Prof Babagana Umara Zulum, in Maiduguri on Saturday, said the Sardauna had left a legacy of accountability, fairness and probity which the current leaders had defied.

Shettima, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Political Affairs, Hakeem-Baba Ahmed, identified corruption by leaders as one of the root causes of insecurity.

“The leader cannot engage in corruption if he wants to stand above the common thief, the bandit and the kidnapper,’’ he said.

Aligning with the vice president in his remarks, Borno State governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, also blamed corruption as the reason the country was not getting things right.

He called on those in position of leadership to provide good governance.

The guest speaker and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, called on the policy makers to address abuse of power and insecurity challenges facing the country.

According to him, the reason the Sardauna is being glorified is the value of teamwork, resilience and commitment to the provision of qualitative education, agriculture, and infrastructural development.

The chairman of Northern Governors Forum, Governor Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, noted in his remarks that good governance was the only way out of the insecurity in the region and the country as a whole.

The 11th Ahmadu Bello Memorial Lecture is to be hosted by Bauchi State in 2025.

Christian leaders in S/Kaduna task Army to secure their communities

In a similar development, the Southern Kaduna Christian Leaders Association, SCKLA, has asked the Army to secure communities in Southern Kaduna which had been bedevilled by killngs and large scale destruction of property.

The association also called on communities in the area to break away from a past of strife and crisis and embrace tolerance for peace to be sustained.

Chairman of the association, Apostle Dr. Emmanuel Nuhu Kure, who made the call during the 22nd edition of the annual Southern Kaduna Prayer Summit convened by the group in Kafanchan, said leaving the past behind and embracing the future with hope was necessary to allow the people rebuild their land and move forward.

“It’s time to break away from the past, a past of strife and crisis. It’s time for us to begin to seek friendship and to build our land together.

“It’s no time to begin to look for faults. We want to see the Muslims and other tribes that are settled in this area as partners in progress.

“It’s time to move forward and part of the reason for moving forward is that we need to start rebuilding our institutions and creating new ones.

“The governor is already setting the pace for us by setting up skill acquisition centre to move us away from the past,” he said.

He commended the Nigerian Army for its peace building efforts in Southern Kaduna, even as he called on them to do more to guarantee a more secured society.

According to him, the annual event is convened to pray for Southern Kaduna and all her people all over the world.

In his remark, the guest speaker, Rev. Israel Akanji, National President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, said it was encouraging to see stakeholders and communities in the area coming together to pray over their land.

According to him, 2024 will see a turn around and progression in Southern Kaduna and the lives of its people.

Akanji called on the people to work together towards achieving God’s purpose for the zone.

Representative of Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State, Mrs Phoebe Yayi, reiterated the need for communities in the area to live in peace as there could be no development without peace.

Yayi, who is the Commissioner and Administrator of Kafanchan Municipal Authority, appealed to religious leaders to continue to preach peace, unity and obedience to constituted authority.

The representative of the governor maintained that the APC administration remained committed to creating an inclusive society where all citizens, regardless of their ethnic and religious backgrounds, could thrive and prosper.

The prayer summit which had the theme, “Arise and Move Forward”, featured song ministration and prayers for Southern Kaduna, the state and the nation at large.

Afenifere expresses worry over upsurge in kidnapping in S/W, others

Meanwhile, worried by upsurge in kidnapping and violence across the country, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural and political organization, Afenifere, has, again, called on President Bola Tinubu to urgently convene stakeholders meeting to tackle the menace.

In a statement sign3ed by the National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, Afenifere submitted that the tenor of the phenomenon “suggests that insiders have a hand in it.

‘’By insiders, we mean people who have a relationship one way or the other with kidnap victims. In other words, masterminds of this dastardly act, or their collaborators, could be family members, business associates or those with whom the victim has a social relationship.

‘’Some security experts have also suggested that some unscrupulous security personnel might be involved as attested to by a former General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Mechanized Division (Kaduna) of the Nigerian Army, Major General Ali-Keffi, in his recent letter to President Bola Tinubu”.

According to Afenifere, there have been increase in kidnap attempts on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Abuja-Kaduna highway and Ikere-Iju-Iwaraja routes in Ekiti State.

“Even where terrorists attack communities such as the ones that took place in Benue, Plateau, Borno, Niger, Sokoto, Nassarawa states, among others, such were carried out by those who are familiar with residents of the communities involved. Otherwise, it would not be easy for outsiders to know how to navigate the territory.

‘’Citing the recent kidnap incidents at Otu, Saki and Okaka in Oke-ogun area of Oyo State, incessant abductions in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, sacking of communities in Niger State etc., Afenifere asserted that there were indications that some of these incidents had signatures of insiders as conspirators or collaborators, if not masterminds.

“Also in places where Fulani herders wrecked havoc, it had been ascertained, through some dwellers in these communities, that such a thing was done by those who were having or intend to have access to the land of those who innocently harboured them. In other words, hegemony and territorial taking-over were the motives.

“Nigerians are surely anxious to see a positive turnaround to the hardships currently in the land. It is however very important that their lives and property be secured even now, because it is a person who is alive and hearty that will enjoy whatever largesse that comes in ‘the near future’ to quote the president’s speech.

“The Southwest, hitherto, considered as relatively safe, is now a theatre of the unfortunate situation as the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Phillip Aivoji and a few others were kidnapped at Ogere, Ogun State on Lagos-Ibadan expressway last Thursday when returning to Lagos. “

While urging President Tinubu to summon necessary political will to arrest this very ugly situation, the group stated: “Afenifere is sure that Tinubu-led government is capable of arresting the ugly phenomenon. This is why we have been suggesting the means to achieve this.”

It suggested urgent conveyance of cluster meetings with various communities where the stakeholders would be reminded of the risks and destructions such an act was causing them.

“Government should also tell participants that henceforth, those who are caught, including collaborators, would face stiff penalties not ruling out death penalties.

‘’At such meetings, collaborators and informants would be there to hear that government is now determined to be ruthless with hoodlums and terrorists.

“While that is going on, security agencies must be strengthened numerically, equipment-wise as well as in terms of remunerations and incentives – in addition to the deployment of modern technology for security purposes,’’ Afenifere stated.