Following the increasing rate of insecurity and challenges of governance in Nigeria, especially in the Northwestern States, CLEEN foundation has engaged stakeholders from these states to raise awareness on the challenges bedeviling the region.
While addressing the stakeholders, the Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, Benson Olugbuo, said “the rate of insecurity in the country right now has put the country on the fringe, thus it is expedient for us to discuss these happenings with the view of ensuring the participation of citizens in a discourse of this nature meant to call the attention of all relevant apparatus of government to citizens’ concerns to issues in the Northwest region.”
“Nigeria is, no doubt, facing serious security challenges and breaches as well as an increase in incidences of violent crimes across all the geo-political zones in the country.”
In his address, Yusuf Abdullahi Manu, a lecturer at the Department of Political Science, Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State, notes that the Northwest region in recent times has been a cesspool of violence and insecurity. According to him, the region is one of the most volatile and restive regions in the country.
Yusuf Abdullahi Manu, therefore, called on government at all levels to foster collaboration with relevant agencies in promoting existing community based peace.
According to him, concrete steps should be adopted by the state governors in the region to develop and implement and agro-based policy programs and projects that will foster and integrate the interest of the pastoralists and farmers and other land users.
On his part, Yusuf Abdulazeez, from the Department of Sociology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, believes that the factors behind insecurity in Sokoto State, and Nigeria are multidimensional, complex but solvable if all can work together towards achieving a common goal for maintaining peace in the country.
The Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, Benson Olugbuo, further outlined the activities of bandits in the Northwestern region to include but not limited to kidnapping, murder, robbery, rape, and cattle-rustling.
Based on the increase in banditry and kidnapping in the region, several villages have been displaced on account of this onslaught, while economic activities, particularly agriculture, which is the mainstay of the affected region has paralysed. Armed banditry in the Northwest is just another form of terrorism with some scholars arguing that rustling is just another means of survival for insurgents.
Olugbuo said the aim of the dialogue is for stakeholders to examine these challenges critically and collectively, assess the level of government’s response and develop action plans whilst pushing for the reform of security architecture in the region.