Northern Groups to launch Arewa private security guards
By Aliu Bakare, Abuja
Stimulated by the desire to defend her people, a group in Northern Nigeria will soon launch a private security outfit. The name of the outfit is Shege Ka Fasa or Arewa Security Initiative. The difference however appears to be the fact that the Shege Ka Fasa is an intiative of individuals and not that of the State Governments in the areas of jurisdiction.
The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) on Monday in a report made available to Irohinoodua said Shege Ka Fasa will work with the police and other security agencies in the bid to protect the people in the core North.
“This need is necessitated by the apparent failure of the government to discharge its primary duty of protecting the lives and property of all citizens,”the group said.
CNG’s spokesperson, Abdul-azeez Suleiman said, “Failure of the authorities to provide proof of its capacity to protect citizens in all parts of the north as minimum evidence that they are serious about their responsibilities, would leave people with no option than to resort to forming an Arewa Security Initiative to secure their people’s lives with the proposed code named, “Shege Ka Fasa.”
In what suggested that the Shege Ka Fasa was established to rival Amotekun, the initiative of the South West Governors through the Development Agenda, (DAWN) the CNG said “While we do not dispute the right of the south- west to initiate the Amotekun as a necessary alternative to secure their safety in the face of government’s control lapses, we nevertheless understand the need for such measures to abide by due processes that conform with relevant laws of the land.
“In this regard, CNG recognises the authority of the Federal Government to take steps to disband all militias and armed groups everywhere in Nigeria to ensure that no group has the capacity to challenge the state in its prerogative to maintain law and order, and protect citizens’ lives and property.
He said “In 2015, Nigerian voters trusted President Muhammadu Buhari to lead them out of these limitations, into a future in which we will live and pursue livelihoods in a united Nigeria whose human and material resources will be protected by our leaders.
CNG said five years on, the story is that of poverty ravaging communities, hunger stalking millions of homes, inflation making life difficult, people losing jobs, businesses closing down, infrastructure decaying, young Nigerians losing hope, which are responsible for the current security situation.
It stated “Worth recalling also, is that long before the current deterioration, the government has been advised severally to take definite steps to end the conflict between farmers and the pastoral communities which it shunned. Instead government came up with various ambiguous policies in the form of Ruga, Livestock Transformation, etc that all ended in controversy, and were never implemented.”
It said the CNG and Northern Elders Forum (NEF)were compelled to consider advising the pastoralists to return home to safety at which the presidency intervened by renewing the vow to protect all citizens’ rights to live and thrive anywhere in the country.
“Having evidently failed to do that, the ensuing level of fear and uncertainty pervading the country now spark concerns that government’s willingness and the quality of coordination of efforts, management of resources and the capacities and integrity of the mechanisms charged with the nation’s security do not do justice to the magnitude of the problems, or address the sense of urgency in dealing with an escalating disaster.”
“The acceptable position remains that only legally constituted outfits and lawfully sanctioned organisations under the direct control of the federal government, as recognised by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, can be so organised, armed and fitted.
“Any extra judicial arrangement by which regions set up state-sponsored armed militia groups may therefore not be tolerated as it only confirms suspicions of a wider agenda similar to that of IPOB, to cajole other parts of the country to submit to their ambition for political ascendancy.
“If indeed the aim of the south – west leaders is to use Amotekun as weapon to coarse the nation into ceding the presidency to them in future, CNG finds it pedestrian and tactless as brigandage will only jeopardise their chances the way IPOB did to south-east politics.
“On the contrary, any section of the country that is able to present a credible alternative shall certainly gain the support of Nigerians without the need for resorting to bluffing.”
CNG also averred that, “In the prevailing circumstances, the north is even more genuinely entitled to be angry at the rate its people are attacked, killed, towns and villages vandalised, innocent citizens including children abducted, and terrorised, families traumatised and communities displaced on a daily basis.
“All this while the north has persevered in a dangerous security environment fuelled by outside interests that thrive on the supply of such deadly merchandise as hard drugs and other harmful substances and the proliferation of arms into the region.
“With the current level of anger, frustration and uncertainty that is fueling communal disharmony and mutual distrust, CNG believes that the north should as well take similar steps to arrange for the protection of the region and its people from these daily attacks and destruction.
“ Thus failure of authorities to provide proof of its capacity to protect citizens in all parts of the north as minimum evidence that they are serious about their responsibilities, would leave people with no option than to resort to forming an Arewa Security Initiative.
“Finally and for the avoidance of doubt, notwithstanding that Nigerians may not have quarrels with any region taking measures to protect its people, they are at the same time unlikely to give in to calculated manipulation, coersion, intimidation, aggression or undue show of force in whatever guise.
“On its part, the north remains confident that it will not shy away from any process leading to any form of national reassessment that may arise now or in the future, in the context of a genuine dialogue without hidden agendas or preconditions.
“It will however not accept any proposal for a national conference that fails to take all acceptable indices of our national demography into consideration; one that clearly aims at achieving dubious political goals; and one that would be clearly designed to weaken our region,” it stated.