The Katsina State chapter of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) has described Governor Aminu Bello Masari’s call for citizens to bear arms for protection as a clear indication that the government has failed.
The CNG Northwest Coordinator, Jamilu Aliyu Charanchi, while briefing newsmen in the state on Sunday said “without a doubt, citizens acquiring weapons in the name of self-defence will increase bandit cells, lead to greater instability and deepen insecurity.”
He added, “Your Excellency Sir, you should perish your thought of self-defence and admit to the great people of Katsina that you are no longer in control and cannot foster solutions to their societal problems, then seek for a genuine help or kindly resign. The state and the good people of the state need and deserve better governance.”
According to the Katsina CNG, the Masari’s led government “is currently displaying its incapacity or unwillingness to tame the monster of insecurity thereby exposing Nigerian security forces to danger and sending civilians to early graves.”
On the way out of the insecurity bedevilling the state, “CNG implore the government to fight unemployment, poverty, and illiteracy, holistically and with all sincerity of purpose which is the tripod upon which banditry has been nurtured to its current monstrous stage.”
The Katsina CNG further said aside from the challenges of border porosity, “Katsina State is leading in two of the most influential variables, triggering criminality and other social vices in the country, unemployment and poverty.”
While using data from the National Bureau of Statistics for the last quarter of 2020, showing that “Katsina has 25.5 per cent unemployment rate with about 438,808 people unemployed, CNG described the predicament as a sign of danger resulting from the failure of effective leadership.”
In this regard, Jamilu said “it is ridiculous to think of arming hungry and angry people of a state like Katsina with a poverty rate of close to 80%, making it second poorest state in Nigeria and expect to achieve positive results. How will you expect an already vulnerable civilian who has been subjected to bad governance presented with an opportunity to possess arm end banditry?”
CNG Katsina chapter challenged the government to wake up to their responsibilities, saying that “Governance is not just about enjoying the perks of office and shifting responsibilities to the vulnerable but rather a selfless service that requires commitment, dedication and the willingness to systemically guide once followers in the right direction. There is therefore the need for leaders to rise up and address the root cause of banditry. Weapon proliferation is already a problem and we should not add to it.”
While wishing Governor Masari a Happy New Year, the CNG urged him to pay more attention to the fight to alleviate poverty, reduce unemployment, economic hardship and most importantly, prioritize the lives of people most of which sacrificed a lot to see him in office.