Aminu Masari is a class apart among governors. He was the first governor to publicly negotiate with bandits. The pictures are still in the public sphere. His romance with bandits has lasted five years.
Governor Masari was Speaker of the House of Representatives, a point he shares with Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal. The comparison ends there.
The call from Masari for us to defend ourselves is a pointed judgment on President Muhammadu Buhari who is from Katsina State. The President cannot secure Katsina where only two of its 34 local government areas are free from bandit attacks.
In a most confusing Executive Order, Masari conceded parts of the State to bandits, by banning travels to them, prohibiting the sale of certain goods at some markets, including cattle, and firewoods.
How will Nigerians who have been cut off from their legitimate livelihoods survive? Or they do not have a country? They are ordinary Nigerians?
President Buhari is unable to protect them. Their son, who is side-stepping the law to establish cattle routes all over Nigeria, has no concerns about their security.
Governor Masari has a solution – defend yourselves. His statement is an absolute indictment of Buhari. He meant, protect yourselves, for Buhari cannot, will not, protect you.
Whatever commotion will be caused when Nigerians set on each other is of no importance to those who take this position. Where would we get the arms to guard ourselves? Has Buhari given up on his duty to protect Nigerians in preference for cattle?
The collapse of Masari’s once chummy relations with bandits could have brought him to the halting position. He was one to meet them in the forests, hold all manners of negotiations with the criminals.
Did the peace talks stop the kidnap of 334 Kankara secondary school students? Days without kidnaps in Katsina are rare. Were Katsina and Zamfara – whose Governor Bello Muhammad Matawalle asked for an emergency on security – in some parts of Nigeria – more stringent security operations would be running there.
Maj-Gen Bashir Magashi, Minister of Defence, joined this mangled reasoning on self-defence in February 2021 when he nicely called Nigerians cowards.
“But we shouldn’t be cowards. At times, the bandits will only come with about three rounds of ammunition, when they fire shots everybody runs.
“I don’t know why people are running from minor things like that. They should stand and let these people know that even the villagers have the competency and capabilities to defend themselves.
“Our own duty is to ensure that no Nigerian is hurt, and we are capable of protecting the integrity of this nation and we’ll continue to do it even though we are so stretched.” When Buhari’s Minister of Defence so advised Nigerians, there were no objections from the President, or the Presidency, as it is more frequently called these days.
Sam Ioraer Ortom in May 2021 told his people to defend themselves. He had repeated himself since then. The Presidency’s obsession with Ortom draws from several niggling remarks that sustain the unfairness Buhari’s actions erect.
Governor Matawalle in June also said his people should defend themselves within the law. He alone probably understands the principle of self-defence under Nigerian law against bandits armed better than most African armies.
Chapter 2, Section 14: 2(b) which states, “The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government,” has not been expunged. Does it mean these high-ranking politicians imposing self-defence on us do not have a primary duty to defend us?
A desperate decision to dignify chaos cannot make commotion less confusing than what it is. Nigerians are under siege from the overwhelming arsenals of armed robbers, bandits, kidnappers who target tomorrow (students), Fulani herdsmen, and uncaring governments to whom the people are inconvenient reminders that they have failed in their primary responsibility – the security and welfare of the people.
President Buhari has asked us not to judge his failures until the end of his administration. Without security what does Buhari tend to achieve?
A damning verdict on Buhari’s security of Nigeria is that he has failed, woefully. Even his Governor says so.
ONCE the military said that the attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy NDA, was a military affair that had to be tackled quietly, secretly, I remembered that we were civilians dabbled into military affairs. We would still want to rejoice with our military when it resolves the attack.
PARTS of Abuja were demolished on Thursday. A number of battle-geared military, police, and civil defence personnel that were harassing civilians, blocking roads, and beating up some who tried to rescue their wares. Those personnel should be battling the terrorists troubling Nigerians.
WHAT will the Chief Justice of Nigeria Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad do about conflicting judgments from different courts across Nigeria? This issue has lingered. It would be to Muhammad’s credit if he can end it.
.Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues