The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) in Sokoto State has given the Nigerian government three months to reduce insecurity in the North-West or face a mass action that will shut down the zone and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara are the states that make up the North-West geopolitical zone.
A statement released at the end of a one-day stakeholders’ conference in Sokoto on Thursday contained the threat.
The group claims to have mobilized teenagers in all of the northwestern states to halt operations in the zone until the government addresses the problem of banditry and other violent crimes in the area.
Last Monday, 23 travelers were killed by bandits in Sokoto, prompting widespread outrage and protests, particularly since President Muhammadu Buhari visited a book launch in Lagos the same week.
Isah Jabbi Usman, the state coordinator of CNG, accused the outlawed volunteer vigilantes group known as Yan Sakai of escalating violence in various regions of the northwestern states, particularly in Sokoto, and asked for a fast solution to the insecurity crisis.
The group chastised the federal and state governments for failing to do enough to combat banditry when it was still in its early stages.
“We hereby give notice to the authorities that unless the killings and abductions are significantly or completely controlled within the next three months, mass action will be called, which will include occupying all towns in all frontline states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja,” Usman said.
Directors of the Department of State Services (DSS) from the North-West geographical zone met in Kaduna in June to discuss how to end the zone’s alarming trend of insecurity caused by kidnapping, banditry, and other associated crimes.
The meeting, which was described as the secret police’s second quarterly meeting, took place in the DSS office complex in Kaduna’s Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari Way (formerly WAFF road).
At the meeting, all of the agency’s directors from the states of Kebbi, Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto, and Zamfara were present.
Security chiefs from the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, Federal Road Safety Corps, the state Commissioner of Police, and members from the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Customs Service, and other paramilitary agencies were among those in attendance.
Nasir El-Rufai, the governor of Kaduna State, who opened the meeting, stated that his administration’s top objective is to keep the state safe from any security concerns.
The state government, he claims, would continue to invest in innovative technology such as drones to combat criminals across the state.
“We have invested in drones, and we are investing in more drones, working with the Air Force and the SSS (State Security Service) to see that these drones are deployed to provide additional intelligence. We are also building a forensic laboratory, to help the Police and other security agencies in crime detection and prevention,” he said.