By Abdallah el-Kurebe
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, on Wednesday hosted the State Advisory Security Council (SASC) meeting held at Sultan Palace.
At the meeting held as follow up to the Security Council resolution on Monday, Tambuwal reiterated that people should stop politicizing the issue of insecurity in the Eastern part of the state because it affects the lives and properties of everyone.
“Nothing, including worship is possible if there is insecurity,” Tambuwal said while observing that “if the bandits attack any community they don’t distinguish between PDP and APC members. They attack anybody they meet. For this reason, we should not politicise security, health and development issues.”
Gov. Tambuwal, while soliciting for the advices of all stakeholders in the state also pleaded with them to furnish the forum with honest inputs and information on what the security situation is like in all the affected areas.
Before the meeting went into a closed door session, the Sultan while consoling and commiserating with victims of banditry in the affected areas, urged citizens to pray fervently as security operatives work to control the situation.
Explaining that the SASC is a high profile security meeting intended to collate opinions and views from an extensive consultation with stakeholders, the Sultan expressed concern over the spate of insecurity in parts of the state, recalling with nostalgia that during colonial period security was in top gear in the area to the extent that a woman could depart Sokoto to Kano without fear.
He assured the state government of the Sultanate Council’s support and encouragement, pointing out that “since 1914 amalgamation of the country the roles of the security operatives and traditional rulers have been clearly spelt out. We shall continue to play our statutory roles accordingly.
“Our position is to inform the security agents about happenings. They in turn will then work to contain the situation. All of us should buckle up and take measures that would ensure that this problem is tackled. This isn’t about poverty. Relatively, we are better off than many countries. All we need to do is to do what is desirable and proper,” the monarch said.
He encouraged people of the state to summon courage and strength to inform security agents of any untoward development, stressing that “it is unfortunate that those who should inform security agents about problems in their areas are scared for their lives. But now everyone should be brave and come out with information about the bandits and their activities.”
Giving kudos to the security operatives for their efforts, the Sultan pledged that similar meetings will be held regularly.
In his opening remarks, the state Commissioner for Security and Career Matters, Col. Garba Moyi (rtd) said the issue of security is not government’s responsibility alone.
As he traced the history of insecurity in the state from the encroachment of bandits from Zamfara and Niger Republic, he said the situation became more disturbing when some Fulani marauders became bolder in their confrontations with farmers.
He said although truce was brokered with some of the bandits by Gov. Tambuwal’s administration, in recent times they have resurfaced in parts of Sabon Birni, Isa, Rabah, Tureta, Kebbe and Goronyo local government areas of the state, thereby raising further concerns.
In a related development, the state government has imposed a 12 hourly restriction on the movement of motorcycles in four local government areas of the state where bandits have been on the loose recently.
The local government areas affected by the motorcycles movement restriction are: Isa, Sabon Birni, Rabah and Goronyo.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto state disclosed this after over two hours meeting of the State Advisory Security Council (SASC) meeting held at palace of the Sultan of Sokoto Wednesday.
Apart from the motorcyclists restriction which will last from 6 pm-6 am, the SASC also resolved that all motorcycles and their respective riders in the affected local government areas will be duely registered by constituted authorities.
In this regard, the governor explained, the Police, Federal Roads Safety Commission (FRSC) in conjunction with traditional authorities have been directed to ensure compliance to the directive.
He appealed to members of the public in the state and those in the affected areas to understand that this measure is being taken in the best interest of all.