With the frequency of attacks on the common border between Plateau and Kaduna states, a PDP chieftain, Chief Joseph Gumbari, has called for the deployment of a special force to secure the area.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that unknown assailants, in the latest attack, killed more than 120 persons in Kaura on the border between the two states.
Gumbari, a former Kaduna House of Assembly Chief Whip and three-term member of the House of Representatives, spoke to NAN on Sunday in Ganawuri, Plateau, shortly after visiting the scene of the midnight attack.
“I have just visited the scene of the attack and also met the displaced persons at the Bondong Primary School where they are currently camped.
“ What I have seen is unbelievable; there must be measures to tackle these recurrent attacks, especially since the attackers’ operational style is known.
“There is the urgent need to deploy a special security team specifically trained to protect these border villages.
“ The villagers are very vulnerable and the attackers usually have a field day because they come in from a different state, wreak havoc and run back.
“The special security team should be able to know the terrain on the border and ensure that the attackers do not have the hit-and-run advantage they currently enjoy,’’ Gumbari said.
He said security teams were usually attached to particular states while most border communities were closer to neighboring states and far from the reach of security outfits which may not be statutorily briefed to protect them.
Gumbari also called for security beef-up in affected villages as many survivors had expressed readiness to return to their homes as camp life was becoming uncomfortable.
The former lawmaker and currently Chairman of the PDP in Kaduna South Senatorial District, dismissed claims that security men were not doing enough to protect villagers.
“It will be unfair to say that the soldiers are not doing much. We only hear of the attacks that were successful.
“ We can’t know the number of attacks that were foiled, or even attacks that could not take place because the soldiers were there,’’ he said.
He also debunked allegations that the insurgency in some parts of the country was a result of the failure of the PDP-led Federal Government.
“It will be totally wrong to blame the PDP government for the insurgency in the country.
“ We must be seen to be serious about tackling this dangerous development without attaching any unnecessary sentiment.
“It is not the first time insurgents are attacking communities. There was the Maitatsine violence in the 1980s, the Bulumkutu violence in the 1990s and many others. PDP was not there then.
“We shall only be trivialising a serious matter if we reduce it to a party affair.
“ We must unite to help the society by cooperating with the security agents and by giving them information that will help them,’’ he said.
Gumbari called for more concerted efforts by monarchs to end the violence, saying there should be a traditional rulers’ council in Southern Kaduna Senatorial District to work with security teams deployed in the area.
He also called for legalisation of state police to help the conventional security men to secure the local communities.
“Some state governors reject state police, but I see that as ironic and hypocritical because they have local vigilance teams which they call `Hisbah’ , `Civilian JTF’ or `Yan-banga’.
“ The time has come for us to face reality and formalise these institutions to help the society,’’ he said.
The PDP chieftain, who reacted to the incessant violence between farmers and herdsmen, expressed surprise at the development, saying both groups should enjoy a mutually-beneficial relationship.
He, however, agreed that some politicians could be blamed for the escalating violence in some areas.
“When you recruit thugs, it is difficult to control them. And when you abandon them, they become something else, especially those that had used arms,’’ he said.
Gumbari advised politicians to engage youths in positive ways, warning that those involved in recruiting thugs would eventually be dealt with by such felons. (NAN)