CSOs Decry Banning of Activities of Volunteers in Katsina
The Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Katsina State, has described the banning of the activities of volunteers (Yan-sakai) group by the state government as another way of worsening the security challenges afflicting the state.
The Chairman of the CSOs, AbdulRahman Abdullahi, in a press statement obtained by THISDAY yesterday, said the proscribing of the volunteers would aggravate killing and abduction of innocent citizens by terrorists.
The state government in a statement issued to Journalists on Monday night by the Special Adviser on Security Matters, Ibrahim Ahmad Katsina, banned the activities of the volunteers over what it termed extra-judicial killing of innocent citizens by members of the group.
The government also directed the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies in the state to enforce the dismantling of the group and arrest anyone found parading himself as a member of the group.
But Abdullahi explained that in the wake of the upsurge of insecurity occasioned by the activities of the terrorists, members of the self-appointed security outfit should be allowed to protect vulnerable communities in the state.
He said the government should devise means of integrating and coordinating the activities of the outlawed group for effective and professional service delivery instead of dismantling it.
He reiterated that members of the proscribed ‘Yan Sakai’ group have a vital role to play in enhancing the security situation of the state “at this time of serious death of security personnel”.
“Why is the government going back and forth on security issues?. Why is this coming from the same government that called on the public to defend themselves? Has the government got enough security personnel to man the security situation in the state?.
“In a situation where the government failed to protect the lives and properties of citizenry, people should be allowed and encouraged to play their parts in protecting themselves without being excessive,” he said.
The North-west Coordinator of the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), Jamilu Aliyu Charanchi, also described the government’s decision as ill-timed and ridiculous.
He added that for a government that advocated for its citizens to purchase arms and defend themselves, it would be ridiculous for the same government to ban “an organised security” outfit.
He said: “It’s unfortunate that this is coming at a time when there is resurgence of violent attacks across many of our villages in the state, elimination of our people, destruction of their livelihood, raping and exploitation of our women and extorting our poverty –stricken villages became the order of the day”.