THE Northern Elements Group, known as Arewa Development Forum for Peace and Justice, has risen from an urgent meeting of general concern in Kaduna with the resolution to support the idea of Zamfara State governor, Bello Mohammed Mutawalle, on giving permission to citizens to acquire and use weapons for protection against invading bandits in their communities.
The group pleaded with the state governors in the North-West region to set up machinery and measures for the joint task force of able youths as community-based vigilante volunteers in order to complement the efforts of security operatives in the fight against criminal activities in the region like that of Community Protection Guard (CPG) launched in Zamfara on Saturday.
The group faulted negative reactions that have trailed the suggestion of the Zamfara State governor and decried the comments of the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, and other elites who he accused of being economical with truth concerning the recent kidnapping, killings and attacks on the communities in North-West region and environs by suspected bandits.
Arewa elders said, “A few days ago, terrorists invaded a mining site in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State killing about 17 security agents, including soldiers, police and local vigilantes, and abducting four Chinese expatriates.
“This was coming a few days after reports of alleged attacks and kidnap of many people in some villages in Kaduna, Kebbi, Niger, Katsina, Zamfara and Sokoto states.
“This multifaceted crime against the Nigerian state and Nigerians has continued to thrive without any serious strategies in place to end the challenge by the security operatives, but, instead, we are awash with news from some high-ranking officers in the security echelons and elites that they are not in support of public bearing arms for protection.
“To us, these groups of Nigerians are openly frustrating the efforts by the government of Zamfara State towards empowering communities to acquire and carry arms legally to protect themselves against the rampaging invading terrorists that have made peace impossible in their ancestral homes.
“Just on Thursday, June 30, at the funeral prayers for a slain Priest in Kaduna, the Catholic Archbishop of Kaduna Diocese, Most Rev Mattew Man-Oso Ndagoso, openly supported the decision of Governor Bello Mutawalle of empowering and allowing citizens to carry arms legally to protect themselves against the incessant killings by the ravaging criminals.
“The Catholic leader also referenced Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State who had earlier suggested the same thing as the only way to complement what the military and police are doing in the fight against terrorists in the region.
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