Just In: Shutting down telecom networks over insecurity, shows there's something worse than bandits in Zamfara State — Akeredolu

He said people are living in fear in the country.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

/ by National Pivot

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, has said the refusal of the Buhari government to recognize bandits as terrorists, does not make sense because what is happening in Zamfara state is beyond banditry. 

Akeredolu made the statement on Tuesday while receiving members of the governing board of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA). 

The Buhari government had recently defended its decision to not recognize bandits as terrorists, saying it is unnecessary because it doesn't treat bandits with kid gloves.

Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, while responding to question in an interview with BBC News Pidgin, said “What the Buhari administration has done to the arms-wielding bandits is worse than being declared as terrorists. There is a subsisting order by the President that any arms-wielding, AK-47 bandits should be shot on sight.

“Yes, IPOB has been proscribed by law of the land, there is no shoot-on-sight order,” Shehu said.

“The Nigerian Air Force is busy bombing locations, the military is there on the ground, exchanging fire for fire, taking them out in hundreds, that is certainly not treating people (bandits) lightly,” he added.

However, despite claims by Buhari government and the Nigerian military that its operations are yielding desired results, Zamfara State government has sent millions of people in the state, back to the stone age by deactivating telecommunication networks in the state over escalating insecurity. 

The Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum, described the situation as worrisome, and lamented that Nigerians were living in fear stemming from unending insecurity across the country. 

He consequently maintained that something must be done urgently to address the situation in order to restore the hope of the people and to make the country a liveable place, so that the young ones will be confident and have hope to live in this country. 

He said, “People are living in fear and something must be done urgently to address the situation and restore hope to the minds of the people. 

“Look at what is happening in Zamfara. They try to clothe it and call them bandits. They are terrorists.” 

Speaking on open grazing, the governor stressed the need for the country to embrace modern ways of animal husbandry, describing open grazing as old and now illegal in the state. He said, 

“Today, I can say there are modern ways of animal husbandry and we have to take the bull by the horns. We are not afraid to take decisions. 

“Modernity has taught us that you can extract more milk from cows in a modern way better than when you take them from one place to another. It is about science. People have developed that science.” 

Speaking on the growth of science and technology in the country, Akeredolu noted that “For us in science and technology, we need to do more. 

“Japanese, Chinese and other developed countries send people to where science is the best. We have heard of countries that send their people to the United States to train on science and technology. 

“They didn’t stay there. They went back to their country to develop it. Commitment to one’s country is key. 

“But we need to make this country a liveable place so that the young ones will be confident and have hope to live in this country.”

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