The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) has regretted that in spite of assurances from the President Muhammadu Buhari government that it will bring to an end banditry and kidnappings in the region, the lives of Nigerians are becoming more endangered every day.
NEF said this in a statement yesterday while condemning the abduction of 317 schoolgirls from Government Girls Secondary School in Jangebe, Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
Gunmen suspected to be bandits stormed the school in the early hours on Friday and abducted 317 students.
In its statement signed Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmad, Director, Publicity and Advocacy, NEF said Nigerians had “lost faith that government will reverse the successes of the criminal against defenceless citizens.”
He said the “Northern Elders Forum shares the profound shock and outrage of Nigerians at the spate of kidnappings of boarding school children in different parts of the North,” the statement added.
The elders warned that these recuring abductions will severely damage the already poor state of education in the region, particularly girl-child education.
They lamented that the Buhari government has done little or nothing to limit exposure of Nigerians to violent criminals.
The group also noted that governors now quarrel over causes and strategies to adopt in tackling these criminalities, alleging that many of the governors are “taking steps that have dubious legal foundations, most of which merely compound the security situation.”
It further urged governors to also “intensify multi-pronged approaches to ending banditry and kidnappings, including measures which prevent the continuation of these criminal activities by those who show a genuine willingness to stop.”
It said, “Bandits who refuse to submit to the mediation and cessation of criminal activities should be treated in accordance with the laws of the country.”