By Mohammed Mohammed
The former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has commiserated with the affected families and the people and government of Sokoto State, over the senseless and needless arson attack on unsuspecting victims travelling along the Gidan Bawa-Sokoto axis of the State, on Wednesday the 7th of December 2021.
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2019 general election, in a statement issued by his media office in Abuja on Thursday, regrets the loss of lives of innocent persons in such a cruel and gruesome manner by suspected bandits. He is worried that these killings have become too frequent in recent times and calls for concern.
“We cannot, as a people, continue to live our lives in apprehension for fear of losing our loved ones whenever they embark on a trip. It shouldn’t be!”, Atiku said.
While acknowledging the concerted efforts of security agencies to rid our communities of criminal elements, the Waziri of Adamawa, stressed the need for special attention to be accorded the North-West zone.
These criminals, he reckoned, cannot be smarter than us. “As a people, we shouldn’t have to be mourning our loved ones murdered in a manner that is highly provocative, when we are not in a war situation”, he said.
He noted that in an asymmetric war scenario where the enemy is faceless, boots on ground and air strikes, cannot be the defining strategy in defeating these criminal elements in their devilish activities.
According to the former Vice President, routing these misguided criminal elements out of our communities should include a scaled-up intelligence gathering, and community volunteering or participation.
He further urged the governments of the affected states to introduce community sensitization programmes that emphasises on the need to “SAY SOMETHING WHEN YOU SEE SOMETHING” untoward taking place in your area.
Atiku Abubakar stressed that community participation in the fight against banditry and kidnapping, by way of having the security agencies collaborate with local vigilantes and community leaders for information gathering is a better means of getting ahead of these criminals to avert harm to anyone or group of persons.
While condoling the affected families and the government and people of the state as they grieve yet again, Atiku urged the government of Sokoto State and the neighboring states to see these unrelenting attacks on the lives and livelihood of their citizens as a challenge to their rights to exist and live as free citizens.
He concluded by praying that Allah forgives the shortcomings of the deceased and grants their souls eternal rest.