Group To Zamfara Traditional Rulers: Stop Accusing Military Of Killing Civilians

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    File photo: Nigerian Army personnel

    *wants those found aiding bandits dethroned, prosecuted

    By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja

    A group, Coalition of Human Rights Watch and Good Governance ( CHRWGG) has slammed Zamfara traditional rulers for alleging that the military killed some civilians while trying to rid the state of bandits.

    CHRWGG expressed this at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday April 22, 2019, where they advised the Zamfara State Governor Abdulaziz Yari not to spare any traditional rulers found complicit in aiding the marauding bandits, but dethrone and prosecute them to serve as a deterrent.

    “These press conference is in furtherance to berate the claims by monarchs in Zamfara State that the Nigerian Army and Air Force are killing innocents civilians, today we are grateful to God Almighty that our position and assertion has been proven and the Nigerian Army and Air Force have been vindicated after the apology tendered by the monarchs in Zamfara State. 


    “We want the world to know that months ago the Governor of Zamfara State sanction over 14 Traditional rulers for their involvement in the crises in Zamfara State, Statement of facts. 


    “The vice Chairman of Anka local Government in Zamfara State was recently arrested as an informant to the Bandits, the Governor recently threaten to resign as Governor because of the bad State of the security situation. 

    “The Nigerian Army and the Air Force has done excellently well in avoiding civilian casualties and respecting human right in all it operations especially in Zanfara State,” Convener of the group, Richard Augustine read from the text of the statement.


    They said they are saddened with the plight of insecurity in some parts of the country and especially in Zamfara State where the lives of Nigerians are no longer sacred but now equated to poultry birds that anyone can just pick or chose to kill. 

    “We are even more disappointed with the actions and inaction of state actors in Zamfara State. 

    “It is unfortunate that traditional authorities who ordinarily should be Statesmen, peace builders, promote and protect the lives of their subjects with the support of legal and constituted authorities are instead the ones accusing the Nigerian Army and the Air Force of killing civilians.


    “Facts are coming out of how the traditional leaders are colluding with the bandit to unleash mayhem on the people of Zamfara State,” they pointed out.

    They however, commended Senator Kabiru Marafa for his boldness as the only Zamfara son that told the world how the bandits and some traditional rulers coordinate their activities. 

    “For the record, these “armed bandits” whom we all know are terrorists are not military or belong to any para military agencies, they are said to be civilians in procession of heavy fire arms, robbing, raping women, kidnapping and killing innocent unarmed civilians and also attacking and killing our law enforcement personnel’s,” they stressed.

    Tbey urged the public to come with facts of human rights abuse by any of the Armed forces for a more constructive and objective engagement rather than making unrealistic public allegations. 

    “We want to warn that any affront on the Nigerian Army and the Air Force is an attack on our dear President Muhammadu Buhari because he remains the commander in chief of the Arm Forces and as responsible citizens, we cannot watch when local authorities precisely the council of chiefs who are on Government pay roll would go to the extent of derogating the name and image of the Nigerian Army and the Air Force even when fact are indicting them of aiding and abetting these Bandits that must stop now. 


    “We wish to state that the monarchs apology alone is not enough, they must come out to denounce and condemn these bandits, support the campaign against crime and terrorism, call their subject and wards to order and support the Military and the Government to ensure that IDPs are returned back to their homes,” they advised. 

    They further urged the Governor of Zamfara State to not only sanction but dethrone and have any Monarch found culpable arrested and prosecuted. 

    “The Nigerian people are supporting the Nigerian Army and the Air Force in all its campaign, normalcy must be restored in Zamfara, all hands must be on desk, the time is now,” they assured.

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