Insecurity in Northwest Nigeria: Victims and Experts Speak Out at Regional Security Summit


KINSHASA, July 5 – During a recent chat with Saturday PUNCH, Sanni lamented his family’s ordeal, recounting how they were nearly killed and threatened never to return to their land. Mallam Muktari Abdulkadir, another farmer in Munhaye village, Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State, shared similar fears, especially after the abduction of his four daughters.

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Seventeen-year-old Moses Anuzah, a recent graduate of Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna State, was among the 107 students kidnapped by bandits on July 5, 2021. Anuzah described the attack, which lasted only 45 minutes and faced no resistance from security personnel, as a traumatic experience that left scars on the victims.

“The security threat is a real issue. How will the North-West security summit address the scars and fear that young students like us endured?” Anuzah questioned, emphasizing the importance of tackling these security challenges.

Despite the persistent insecurity, security experts are cautiously optimistic about the recent North-West Security Summit. The event, themed “Regional Cooperation for Securing Lives and Livelihoods,” aimed to explore solutions to the ongoing crises, focusing on peace and stability while promoting cooperation among state governments.

Katsina State Governor Mallam Dikko Radda highlighted the critical nature of the summit in his welcome speech. “We have agreed to set up a secretariat to develop an action plan and implement the suggestions made during this conference. We are committed to supporting initiatives that will bring peace and prosperity to the North-West region,” Radda said.

The summit brought together key stakeholders, including the President, Vice President, security experts, traditional leaders, and representatives from non-governmental organizations. A retired Deputy Commissioner of Police expressed skepticism about the summit’s effectiveness, hoping that the discussions would lead to concrete actions addressing the region’s security challenges.

Brigadier General Sale Bala, a panelist at the summit, stressed the importance of decisive action against banditry. He called for political office holders to empower security operatives and emphasized the role of women in ending banditry.

President Bola Tinubu, represented by Vice President Kashim Shettima, described the insecurity in the North-West as a result of historical injustices and security compromises. He reiterated the administration’s commitment to making Nigeria safer and addressing the root causes of insecurity.

UNDP Resident Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Elsie Attafuah, highlighted the organization’s role in addressing insecurity in the North-West. “This summit represents a crucial step in our ongoing efforts to build peace in North-West Nigeria,” Attafuah stated, emphasizing the importance of collaboration for sustainable solutions.

Observers noted the absence of several key governors at the summit, with only three sitting governors in attendance. Public commentator Musa Baba expressed disappointment, stressing the need for political leaders to prioritize the security and well-being of their constituents.

As the summit concluded, stakeholders hoped that the ideas and strategies discussed would lead to tangible improvements in the security situation in North-West Nigeria.

Emman Tochi
Emman Tochi
Emma Tochi is Naija247news Media Northern Bureau Chief, he's based in FCT Abuja. He overseas the northern operations of this business media

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