Sultan of Sokoto Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III has asked the Federal Government to immediately take over forests and swampy areas serving as hideouts of criminals/killers across the country.
Abubakar said in a statement yesterday by Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) Secretary-General. Khalid, that the criminals/killers ought to be fished out and prosecuted.
The Sultan, who is also the JNI president-general argued that the term ‘unknown gunmen’ used to describe killers was no longer tenable as they are known but ignored.
The monarch specifically made reference to what he described as ‘senseless, barbaric and unprovoked killing’’ of a pregnant woman with four of her children in Anambra State. He expressed worry that such killings in the Southeast were becoming religious and ethnic/tribal.
He, therefore, called on governments at all levels and security agencies to quickly end the trend by apprehending the perpetrators.
“Desperate situations need desperate measures. Thus, constituting a joint task force to specially attend to the rising tide of killings in Southeastern Nigeria, should be considered; Governments at all levels should act beyond mere verbal condemnations on security related matters,” Abubakar admonished.
To Southeast governors and other leaders, the monarch said: “They should be seen and heard condemning and assuaging fears and tension within their respective states and communities. Perhaps, they should emulate their Northern counterparts in reacting quickly and appropriately, to similar happenings within their jurisdictions.”
He added:” JNI has painfully, with dismay been observing the orchestrated unchecked atrocities dished out to many innocent traders.
“The attitude, in effect, depicts the most unfortunate high level of hatred and impunity. The JNI feels that it was high time the governments acted lest things get out of hand.
“While we commiserate with all families affected by the serial killings and abductions in Nigeria, we implore the Federal Government to synergy with all state governments enmeshed in all forms of security challenges, for the restoration of law and order..”As it could be discerned, the killings are now transforming to being more religious and ethnic/tribal conflicts. Their escalation may not be easily halted. Nigerians should learn from different historical accounts that, religious or ethnic conflicts and wars are undoubtedly extremely preposterous. So, they should by all means be avoided.
“In light of the forgoing, we call on governments at all levels to, as a matter of urgency, do everything possible and use any means possible to curtail the situation and arrest all those who are behind the ongoing killings in the Southeastern Nigeria, before it is too late.
“The lexis of the so-called unknown gunmen is no longer tenable. They are known but ignored! We have had enough, so it should be left for what it is enough
“Moreover, as we have always stated in our similar press releases, governments should be seen as swiftly acting on security-related issues, as it is its primary constitutional responsibility to protect, secure and provide welfare to citizens, as enunciated on the second schedule of the 1999 amended Constitution.
“Government must spare no efforts to immediately take control of all forests and swampy areas that have become hideouts for criminals. Examples should be set by speedily arresting and prosecuting all criminals, devoid of legal encumbrances.
“Constituting commissions of inquiry should not be the only way to go. Hence, the government should intensify efforts in identifying and prosecuting the so-called unknown gunmen; Governments at all levels, in collaboration with different security agencies, must be up and doing against the tides of insecurities, in whatever guises.
“The Southeastern state governments and community leaders over there should be seen and heard condemning and assuaging fears and tension within their respective states and communities (as the case may be). Silence would not be golden, in so unfortunate a situation.