The Northern socio-political umbrella organization, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) on Wednesday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the ‘No Flying Zone’ declared on Zamfara State to other parts of Nigeria ravaged by Boko Haram/Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists and bandits.
The ACF specifically said that States such as Benue, Taraba and Borno where there have been unconfirmed reports that helicopters frequently drop arms for bandits and terrorists should face the ‘No Flying Zone’ imposition.
But ACF conspicuously left out Kaduna and Niger States, two States ravaged by bandits’ killings and kidnappings.
Following the kidnap and subsequent release of the 273 schoolgirls of Government Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata-Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State by bandits, the National Security Council after a meeting on Tuesday declared the State a “No Flying Zone” while also banning all mining activities in the State.
But National Chairman of the ACF and former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, while congratulating the government and people of Zamfara State on the safe release of the abducted Jangebe schoolgirls, said in a statement in Kaduna said that “Arewa Consultative Forum congratulates the people and government of Zamfara State on the safe release of the kidnapped schoolgirls from the Government Girls Secondary School in the State.
“We are also happy with the federal government’s decision to ban flights in the State.
“We also plead with the government to extend the ban to other States like Benue, Taraba, Borno where there are rumors that helicopters frequently drop arms for bandits and insurgents operating in these States.
“We believe that such an extended ban will curtail the operations of the criminals in these areas.”