By Rt.Hon. ISA MOHAMMED ASHIRU (Sarkin Bai Zazzau)
Our dear nation, and our dear Kaduna State are at a crossroad. The activities of criminals and bandits across the Country and Kaduna State in particular have assumed an unimaginable proportion. In the past one week alone, a sizeable number of people have been gruesomely murdered, maimed or kidnapped across various communities in Chikun, Igabi, Zango Kataf, Kaura, Jema’a, Giwa, B/Gwari and Kajuru Local Government Areas.
In the face of this great adversity, we cannot afford to remain silent. The life and property of every Kaduna State citizen matter, and government MUST do all it can to secure both.
While we cannot seek to score any political point from the rising incidents of killings, kidnappings and banditry in any part of the state or nation, it is instructive, however, to note that the current approach at tackling the issues by government at both state and federal levels have failed. Thus, President Muhammadu Buhari should heed to wise counsel and rejig the security architecture of the nation without further delay. The current set of service chiefs has done its best, but they must give way for fresh hands and certainly new ideas. Their continued stay is weighing heavily and negatively on the morale of the forces and this is not desirable at this crucial moment.
Similarly, the State Government must change gear to demonstrate responsible leadership by showing empathy and giving assurances for the safety of the people, instead of making excuses and inflammatory remarks at this time when courageous leadership is needed.
The State Government also needs to not only consult, but work with relevant stakeholders; traditional leaders, CDAs, pressure groups, opinion leaders, in the best interest of the people and the state. Where this continues to be lacking, the people perish.
I also call on leaders across political parties to close ranks and work with government to restore peace and the dignity of our people’s lives. It may be a daunting task, but surely not impossible.
In conclusion, I sincerely commiserate with all victims of violence and banditry in our state and pray that Almighty Allah will heal those injured. I urge everyone to be calm, vigilant and cooperate with security agencies to end the cycle of bloodshed. Remember that eternal vigilance is the price for lasting peace.
Above all, let us unite; hold fast and pray that soon, the forces of good shall overcome those of evil.
God bless our dear State Kaduna and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.