The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), on Sunday lamented that 500 Northerners were killed in Kaduna, Sokoto, Niger and Zamfara States in the last four weeks by terrorists and other criminal elements in the region.
CNG National Coordinator, Balarabe Rufa’i, told journalists in Abuja that it is alarming that residents of communities in the region now pay millions of naira to terrorising bandits to stay alive.
According to the group, “the stories are condemnable and demoralizing as over 500 innocent, defenseless and impoverished northerners were killed systematically in the last four weeks.
“In view of the above happenings, the CNG observed that:Governments at all levels particularly federal government have surrendered their rights and privileges to the bandits/ terrorists as the bandits operate parallel governments in villages and communities in Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina and Niger States where they impose taxes and levies on the villages and kill people at will.”
The group regretted that “governments and its functionaries lack the political will and determination to decisively deal with the problems once and for all. The security forces are grossly understaffed, ill-equipped and poorly motivated to confront the monstrous terrorists in aggressive manner to eliminate them from their hideouts.”
Aside charging traditional rulers to stand with their subjects, the group, through its leader, Rufa’i, proposed the formation of a regional security outfit, sponsored by a special trust fund.
“The CNG calls on traditional rulers to stand with their people at this difficult and scaring situation to confront the challenge for our collective survival.
“Communities must work together under the traditional institutions, religious leaders and community leaders to source for alternative method of preserving and protecting their lives, properties and communities as our security architecture proves incapacitated and or reluctant to decisively and resolutely deal with the problem.
“CNG, therefore, advocates concerted and strategic efforts to create an independent-community based security outfit that can be funded through community efforts, donations from wealthy individuals, friends and associates of the North among others to take the war against this eminent existential threats to the hideouts of the hardened criminals.
“We reiterate our call to the traditional and religious leaders because of their proximity to the people and the trust they enjoy from our people that they must lead from the front by setting example; they should create and manage a special trust-fund to support the community-based outfit.
“Hence, our people must rise up in an organized manner and defend themselves from the systematic and genocidal annihilation; plundering of their resources and extortions by their enemies,” he said.