Most of the people clamouring for the implementation of MD Abubakar security report have not thumbed through the pages of the report as to even know what are the recommendations. The only thing catching their attention is one recommendation about the alleged culpability of some traditional leaders as if everything about the insecurity is connected to them.
MD Abubakar’s report is the most elaborate report I have ever set my eyes on and thus relegating it to a single recommendation does no justice to that bulky document, the data of which was gathered and compiled with so much sweat and sleeplessness.
If you ask most of those of those critiquing brawlers to enumerate even ten of the MD Abubakar’s recommendations, I am sure they will not be able to do so.
As important as the report is, Governor Bello Matawalle will never allow it to be swept under the carpet. Since December 2019 he had made it clear that the report is being implemented. Yesterday, he reiterated his commitment to the implementation of the report specifically referring to Recommendation No 2 on the alleged indicted traditional leaders.
The question being raised as to why did it take him so long to implement the report has no feet to stand since he has been implementing it from the very day it saw the light of the day.
How fast do you forget that Recommendation No 1 (i) which suggest revocation of illegally acquired lands on grazing reserves and routes has been implemented since November 2019?
How fast do you forget that Governor Bello Matawalle is currently implementing Recommendation No 3 which postulates for the Federal and state governments to come up with an initiative that encourages both Fulanis and non-Fulani cattle rearers to adopt modern dietary farming and discourage the traditional nomadism system? This he is doing through construction of RUGA even without any external support. We are yet to see any CSO complimenting government struggle to get intervention for the realization of this goal.
Do you even care to know that the Zamfara State Disarmament Policy which resulted in laying down of many sophisticated arms by bandits is based on Recommendation No 4 which states that “Zamfara State should embark on disarmament, disarmament which should mean and be christened as “Arms and Ammunitions for Basic Amenities”? Now, see this! When Zamfara State built boreholes in some distant settlements for the repentant bandits who laid down their arms the same critics pushing for the implementation of former IG MD Abubakar’s report come to condemn it vehemently.
On why Governor Bello Matawalle treats with caution the Recommendation No 2 suggesting the sack of alleged indicted traditional leaders has nothing to do with politics. In fact, three Emirs have so far been relieved of their position pending further recommendations from the committee charged with the responsibility to investigate the level of their involvement with banditry.
The problem is often seen from a very shallow angle by fast-fault-finders. To paint the scenario, the traditional leaders in volatile areas find themselves entangled in a very difficult situation. With the traditional institution relegated constitutionally and rendered powerless, with no security in their area of authority which is infested by gun wielding terrorists there is natural tendency to compromise and yield to the demands of bandits because their lives are at stake. Treating issues as delicate as this should never be made in haste. Just imagine yourselves in their shoes and tell me what would you have done when faced with similar situation. I think, the only way to be fully innocent is to abdicate the traditional position and run for your dear life but that is the decision for someone with no royal blood in him.
The caution being observed by Governor Bello Matawalle is thus to protect the integrity of the innocents as some of the alleged indicted traditional leaders are coerced to compromise. That notwithstanding, the government is doing all it takes to find out their level of involvement and deal with the situation as it should be dealt with.
Ibrahim Bello Zauma is
Director General New Media,
Office of the Executive Governor, Zamfara State.