Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Niger, Kogi, Borno, Plateau and Kaduna State Governors, have in rapid succession introduced new security restrictions to tackle the rising spate of insecurity in their domains.
The Northern State Governors neither consulted the plurality of Nigerians nor called for Southern input before taking these decisions: they did not share with Nigerians why such measures are deemed necessary. Laws like no more movement of firewood from the bush is definitely a death nail to many families who cannot afford the rising costs of kerosene and gas, used to cook their daily meal; this will only add to the hardship faced by local people.
Blockage of main roads, closure of markets, curfews and restriction of petrol supplies to not more than five thousand Naira per person are some of the measures imposed. Zamfara State in particular has closed all schools sending millions of children home and into an uncertain future.
How these measures will curb Banditry remains to be seen for these bandits have shown vast versatility. However as the squeeze in the North persists, Southern Governors are like the proverbial Neighbour who sleeps while their neighbor's house burns, forgetting that the same conflagration rapidly approaches them.
The North is burning as Bandits run wild turning the once prosperous region into a den of terror and fear. Bandits armed to the teeth who are mere teenagers and those in their early twenties, have learnt the power of the gun which gives them the license to steal, kill and destroy.
The President's order to shoot any bandit seen with an AK-47 has failed to deter these bandits whose impunity and daring nature grows each day as proven by their successful assault on the Nigerian Defence Academy.
With the squeeze instituted by these new security laws, these Bandits will definitely venture South to the fertile land in the West and East.
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello on 17th July 2021, already raised an alarm that Bandits and Boko Haram Terrorists are regrouping in his State in preparation of an invasion of the Southern part of the country.
And only yesterday 1st September 2021, the Bagana community in Omala local Government Area of Kogi State was attacked by bandits who raided shops in search of food and other supplies. Nine natives were killed during the successful attack as the bandits escaped with their booty unscathed.
This serves as a Clarion call to all Southern Governors to institute their own security measures to prevent these terrorists or bandits from entering their domain from the North.
Amotekun and other similar outfits are reactionary forces, pre-emptive measures similar to the Northern Governors measures are deemed necessary at this crucial time.
The anti-open grazing law is a good first step. But few States have signed it into law. There is also a need to block Northerners from coming South who lack proper identification. Each Traveller of Northern extraction should show their NIN and fill a form stating their purpose/ business in the South and list their contacts and next of kin for verification.
All livestock from the North should be halted at the Southern boundaries and their owners should be proven to be registered livestock owners with BVN and NIN. They should also show evidence of payment of Tax to Southern Governors and should all have their TIN.
All Motorcycle imports from the North should be banded as this is the preferred means of mobility of these bandits. No Northerner should be allowed to ride a motorcycle in the South without a NIN, BVN and a local native guarantor.
The Southern Governors must wake up to their responsibilities before it is too late. The Northerner Governors have acted. When will their Southern counterparts respond in kind? Or is the fear of the Government at the centre, scaring them into inaction? The time to act is now!!!!
Written By: Attah Essien