Tackle Root Causes Of Banditry, Terrorism, Criminologist Advises Masari

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Bandits as terrorists

* Giving Weapons To Vulnerable Civilians Will Produce More Terrorists

​A criminologist at the University of Ibadan, Dr. Oludayo Tade Thursday said Nigerian Governments have failed in their responsibility to protect their citizens.

The criminologist who was reacting to the call by the Katsina state governor, Aminu Bello Masari on residents in the state to acquire arms and defend themselves against bandits, stated that acquiring weapons by citizens in the name of self-defense will increase bandit cells and deepen insecurity.

He noted that besides the issues of border porosity, the northwest states are leading in terms of unemployment and poor people in Nigeria and these two variables are triggers of criminality and social problems which the region is facing.

The University don maintained that the states in the Northwest should be realistic and present a common front to battle bandits which they reared irresponsibly.

The Northwest states are facing almost the same problem of banditry and should work together, formulate common policies, and collectively use their humongous security votes to protect their residents and not only their families.

Dr Tade noted that Nigeria is a member state who signed into the Responsibility to Protect but it is showing incapacity and unwillingness to tame the monster of insecurity thereby exposing Nigerian security forces to danger and sending civilians to early graves.

The security expert and communication specialist admonished governors in the northwest region to fight unemployment, poverty, and illiteracy which are the tripod upon which banditry has been nurtured to their monstrous nature.

According to him, “the statistics from the region from the National Bureau of Statistics in the last quarter of 2020 showed that Katsina alone has 25.5percent unemployment rate with about 438,808 people unemployed; Jigawa has 565,978 (38.69%), Kaduna has 1,111,091 (44.35%), Kano has 717,086 (25.5%) while Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara have 213, 570 (17.25%), 162,349 (14.48%), 202, 568 (12.9%) respectively.

“The statistics on poverty rate from the region is a sign of danger and failure of effective leadership. Who will you give weapons in a state like Zamfara with a poverty rate of 73.98percent or in Sokoto with 87.73percent poor people? The least in the region has 43.48percent of her population as poor. So, who will be the civilian that is not already vulnerable to bad governance and will be given arms and not also use it as an opportunity to extort? Leaders from the zone should be objective to themselves and address what they have contributed to creating the monster of banditry?

“How many of them are close to the bandits?. Governance is not about enjoying the perks of office and shifting responsibilities to the vulnerable. Rise up and address the root cause of banditry. Weapon proliferation is already a problem and we should not add to it.”

He admonished leadership in the region to put politics aside and join the call for state police, fight poverty and unemployment and rise up to defend their people.

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