Banditry: Masari’s warning and the Nigerian Army

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By Lawal Sa’idu Funtua

The world has since the collapsed of the Soviet Union and the demise of the socialists block in the 1990’s turned community relations around the world into ‘we’ and ‘them’. The ‘we’ does not necessarily mean people who share the same geographical space bounded by nationalism, the ‘them’ does not also mean people living outside your geographical location.

The ‘we’ of today is more affiliated to persons that share common religious, ethnic doctrines and the same world view.

This is what makes today’s world unpredictable and dangerous. The genocide, mass murder and destruction of lives and property witnessed in the early 1990’s to date are the worse in human history- it is a murder and callousness never seen even during the 1st and 2nd world wars. The Mangold despite their murderous adventure in the middle-  East they will be jealous of our today’s killings and destructive tendencies.

This is what Governor Aminu Bello Masari envisages when he warned the Nigerian Army to quickly finish up with the bandits before they forge alliance with some external rough forces.

True to his warning, it was only last week that a splinter group of bandits operating within the Sokoto axis pledged their alliance to the terrorists and murderous  Al-Barnawi group. It means the North-West region will now witness more attacks and if care is not taken major cities within the region will become targets of attack with the possibilities of bombing or suicide attacks.

It could be recalled that when the menace of Boko- Haram in the Northeast started in the late 1990s they were a bunch of rag-tag groups driven by distorted ideological beliefs and vengeance.

They were driven into the far Eastern fringes of the region where it is inhabited by thick forest and rugged land and water ways.

As the government then handled the situation with kids gloves, slowly they started building alliances with some terrorists and criminal gangs in the Mail region, Libya and the Middle east. These alliances brought groups such as ISWAP and others operating in the region. Northeast Nigeria is now one of the unsafe places in the world. Towns and Villages were reduced to rubbles, thousands were killed while millions were dislodged from their homes.

It is therefore imperative to understand that this fight is a collective one. In Katsina state bandits operating in the Frontline local governments have succeeded in instilling fear into the minds of local communities.they have crippled agriculture and other economic activities in these areas.

Governor Masari has at various occasions warned on the dangers of politicization of these wars. The bandits don’t discriminate on the basis of political or religious affiliations.the bandits are human not spirit so we should therefore strive to block all windows that provides fertile ground for their operations.

Lawal Sa’idu Funtua writes from Katsina State.

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