The Bad Side Of Politicisation Of Security Issue In Zamfara State

Insecurity in Nigeria has been one of the major problems terrorising the corporate existence of Nigeria and scuttling the supposed development in many facets of human endeavour within the states of the federation. Ranging from Boko Haram to Niger Delta militancy to IPOB and very recently to rustling and kidnapping.

Virtually no Nigerian state has not been disturbed by one of these monsters. Borno and Yobe we have Boko Haram, Niger Delta region, militancy, Southeast, IPOB, Southwest, OPC/Badoo, Kaduna state, kidnapping, in Benue, there’s Fulani and farmers clash, Plateau, Taraba, Nasarawa, Adamawa, communal clashes and ZAMFARA, Katsina states and few others, rustling.

Security is everybody’s business, irrespective of his social, economic or political status. One of the civic responsibilities, the people must provide the government/security agencies with all the relevant information regarding any suspicious personality or movement in their domain. While those with financial capability supposed to contribute the little they can afford as part of their social responsibility towards provision of security in the state.

Despite the fact that defence/security falls under the EXCLUSIVE list in the Nigeria’s constitution, namely solely in the hands of the federal government, the states and local governments have to come in, in whatever capacity to assist the federal government in discharging that responsibility in order to have effective security for the lives and property of the citizenry. That’s why each and every governor or local government chairman is called the chief security officer of his state or local government as the case may be. But that doesn’t mean the security agencies in their states or council receive directives from them or answerable to them. They are federal government apparatuses, therefore, answerable to the president and receive orders from him. And any failure from this aspect, all the stakeholders, according to constitutional responsibility, should be held responsible, but not the state government in particular, as some oppositions or political jingoists want us to believe, just for their vested and political interest.

Though, it is the responsibility of the state government, though, not constitutional, to complement the efforts of these security agencies in their respective states by way of provisions of available equipment that will help them discharge their constitutional duties ie curtailing the menace of criminal in the society. This includes provisions of mobility, communication gadgets, welfare and any other equipment/information within the scope and confines of the law. If the state government does this, it has discharged what is supposed to do within the context of Nigerian set up. The rest is left for the security agencies and other stakeholders to make sure lives and property of Nigerians are protected.

Sequel to above mentioned constitutional provision, security challenges in Zamfara state, to be sincere with ourselves, the state government under the leadership of governor Abdulazeez Yari Abubakar comes in, in such a way to assist the security agencies facilitate their job. Zamfara state government has judiciously and religiously tried in many capacities within its limit to assist the security agencies in the state. In its giant strides to do the needful in the area of security, the state government has donated more than 350 vehicles to the security agencies in the state, motor circles etc. This is with the exception of financial and other necessary assistance it has been providing to our security agencies in many different times. And this is an open secret to, not only the stakeholders, like Senators, Honourable members of Federal and State Houses of Assemblies from the state, but to even common man that is living in the state and even beyond.

Just as the Chairman of Tsafe Local Government Council Alh. Aliyu Abubakar Tsafe (MC) stated in his recent interview with some media houses in the country that Governor Abdulazeez Yari Abubakar was briefing them on what the state government had been doing, he was quoted querying all the security agencies leaderships present if there was anytime he reduced a penny out of their submissions of request to him. He said he approves whatever request they brought to him without delay and reduction. There was no requests from the security agencies that Gov. Abdulazeez Yari Abubakar wouldn’t entertain with immediate effect and importance attached to it. Also ALGON in the state under the able present leadership are not left behind in their respective capacities.

Zamfara state is one of the few states in the federation where the government snappily respond to security requests within its capacity and jurisdiction. It is hardly to see a state in Nigeria, where a state government responds to/ and have cordial understanding with security agencies more than Zamfara state. If a state government contributes its part in such a way, it should be commended not blamed.

And apart from physical combat with the criminals, the state government employed similar method the federal government employed during Late Umar ‘Yar’Adua with the Niger Delta militias and now Boko Haram insurgents under President Buhari, namely, amnesty for those who surrender and bring their weapons. This is what even curtailed the incidence by larger degree.

However, going by the sensitive nature of security, we have to stop politicising the issue. Security issue is much more than that. Recently a senator from Zamfara state, vituperated on the floor of the National Assembly, openly accusing the State governor, his deputy and state police commissioner of shielding rustlers, saying they are very much aware and know the hideout of this criminals. It baffles many analysts in the country on why a whole senator decided to politicise security issue at the expense of the poor citizens. Does that make sense for a governor as chief security officer, his deputy and a state police commissioner to shield terrorists that killed, maimed their people? It is contrary to all ramifications of sensible provisions.

If other states where similar incidents happened, their leaders could come together, dropped their political differences and aspiration to face the monster called insecurity, I see no rationality for some of our politicians in the state playing politics with the lives of our innocent citizenry with a view to earning more popularity and advantage over another for their political aggrandisement.

Anyone that has what to contribute to solve this problem must do it. But it would be the highest peak of dishonour and unpatriotic display of selfishness and cluelessness for anyone, no matter how highly placed he is, to politicise security issue in order to get cheap popularity.

May Allah come to our rescue.

By Salis Muhammad Moriki

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