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    Matawalle pushes for a state of emergency in northern Nigeria

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    Aug 25, 2021

    As Nigeria matches towards the 2023 general elections, Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle has called for a state of emergency in northern Nigeria over the worsening security situation in the region. He made the call in Gusau, the state capital when he played host to the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Ali Janga, who paid him a courtesy visit today.

    Security situation in the north east, west and central regions in recent weeks have reached a crescendo never witnessed before in the history of Nigeria, a development an ex-military officer attributed to the lack of political will by the presidency to bring the sponsors of bandits and insurgents to book.

    “Try them, we know them. Why can’t this government, if not that they are partisan, bring those people out for trial? In April this year, the government said they had arrested 400 Bureau De Change (BDCs)-related people that were sponsoring Boko Haram. They told us”, Kunle Olawunmi, a retired Commodore and a professor of Intelligence and Global Security Studies said during an interview with Channels TV.

    The last two weeks in Nigeria have witnessed a bloodbath of unimaginable proportions as terrorists made bold their plans not to spare anyone, which was why Nigeria’s elite military school, the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) was viciously attacked. The NDA attack led to the death of three officers.

    “The centre of gravity of Boko Haram and insurgency in Nigeria are the sponsors of that programme. The challenge we have in this country cannot be solved the same way we solved the problem of the Niger Delta. I told them we can’t use the same strategy for Boko Haram,” he argued, citing when he served a security and intelligence brief at the Defence Headquarters between 2016 and 2017”, Olawunmi added.

    Plateau State is the epicentre of attacks which started on July 31 when Jebbu Miango was attacked resulting in the death of five people. A follow up attack on August 1 resulted in twelve deaths with eighty-five houses razed down by the attackers. And in what seemed like a reprisal attack, over thirty-four people were killed on August 15.

    On August 24, over 36 indigenes of Plateau State were killed and another seven killed today, and the frequency of the killings forced the state government to impose a 24-hour curfew.

    Eight people were killed in Benue State this week, as the killers defied all the measures put in place by the state government to avert further carnage. There are also kidnappings of students, business men and women and even security personnel on a daily basis in Nigeria.

    With security worsening on a daily basis, there seems to be a cloud of doubt and uncertainty over the possibility of holding future general elections.

    Earlier in July, the Director, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office in the United Kingdom, Chris Beecroft, sounded a note of warning to Nigerian leaders on the likely impact of the rising insecurity on the forthcoming general elections.

    “Nigeria faces significant peace and security challenges. There is an active insurgency in the North East; farmer-herder conflicts are extending across the country; resource conflicts in the Delta; tension in the South-East; and banditry in the North West. The rise in conflict risks destabilising Nigeria’s democracy in the run-up to the 2023 elections”, Beecroft said.

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