Nigeria’s defence minister Mansur Muhammad Dan Ali has accused traditional rulers of ‘helping’ armed bandits attack communities and increase insecurity in the country.
Ali, in a statement signed by Nigeria’s defence ministry spokesman Tukur Gusau said unpatriotic activities by the traditional rulers have foiled efforts of the security agencies in ensuring calm in communities.
“In spite of the concerted efforts of the Armed Forces and other security some unpatriotic persons including highly placed traditional rulers in the areas were identified as helping the bandits with intelligence to perpetuate their nefarious actions or to compromise military operations.”
He, however, did not mention the names of any traditional leader.
The minister warned sponsors of armed banditry, killings and other insecurity challenges in the north-west states to desist their actions else they will be prosecuted.
Security challenges in northern states of Nigeria- Zamfara, Borno, Sokoto, Katsina and Kaduna have consistently been on the rise. It has led to the death of over 80,000 people and displacement of over 2 million residents since 2015.
Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari, after different attacks, promised Nigerians of improved security. However, the attacks, killings and displacement of many persist.
Earlier in April, more communities in Zamfara State were attacked by armed bandits, leaving scores dead and rendered many homeless.
While many have faulted Nigeria’s security agencies on their roles in security citizens of the country, Nigeria’s defence minister said the Nigerian Army has achieved “achieved a lot of success in killing bandits.”
“It is instructive to mention here that insurgency and terrorism are global phenomena that cannot be addressed through military actions only. The whole society has to rise in unison to support the government’s efforts to address the problem.”
He said, “the government is also addressing the remote and immediate causes that gave room to high spate of armed banditry in the states.”
The minister called on members of the “to cooperate with the Armed Forces to discharge of its constitutional responsibilities effectively.”