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Zamfara Genocide: One Killing Too Many

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Concerned by the unabated mass carnage that has taken over Zamfara State in the last 7 years or thereabout with most atrocious genocide committed in 2018, and sequel to the growing disenchantments, hopelessness and displacement amongst the citizens of Zamfara a broad-based alliance of civil society groups and professional bodies deeply concerned about the safety, security and forward voyage of Zamfara State on all frontiers of development set aside Thursday, 10th March, 2018 as a day of action to protest the mass genocide going on across so many villages in Zamfara State and to demand for more accountability in the handling of the crisis.

It is an incontrovertible fact that individual and communities have witnessed unspeakable act of violence and persecution perpetrated against innocent and defenceless civilians across the length and breadth of Zamfara State by armed terrorists. Worthy of recognition are steps taken by both the State and Federal government to halt the bloodbath in Zamfara State which has so far proven ineffective, opaque and without accountability.

It is the State’s primary responsibility to protect its citizens from all forms of genocide, ethnic cleansing and other crimes against humanity. And if a state cannot, or will not, prevent or put a stop to such crimes by taking timely and decisive action, then the state has failed in its basic constitutional responsibilities.

The time to boldly confront these challenges is now, and all men of goodwill and conscience must close ranks by adding their voices in condemning this heinous crime against humanity, and pressure governments at all level to wake up from its deep slumber to halt the needless bloodbath and protect people from mass violence and abuse.

The Zamfara State House of Assembly has failed the Zamfara People in all ramifications by been too docile and in active not to effect even a single resolution in support of communities devastated by act of terror. Even, the so called relief committee is an avenue for personal enrichment and aggrandizements, and above all a way of siphoning public resources without any visible measurable impact of such interventions.

In finding a lasting solution to this menace, the Zamfara State House of Assembly as direct representatives of the Zamfara people should urgently convoke a special sitting to debate thoroughly, the ravaging killings and come up with a resolution and recommendations on how best to stop this menace.

 The State House of Assembly must compel the State and Federal Government to declare the current state of the much publicized earlier reconciliation with armed terrorists and be more transparent, and accountable in handling of the crisis including authenticating the recorded audio conversation allegedly of Late Buharin Daji and issues raised.

 The State House of Assembly must compel the State in active collaboration with Federal Government set up an emergency coordination and response centres with active phone numbers to report any suspicions and ongoing acts of violence across the remote locations and ensure the full operationalization of the State Emergency Management Agency.

 The State Assembly must prevail on the state government, security agencies and traditional rulers to allow donors and relief organizations have access to the victims of violence in the state to support government in the management of the humanitarian crises.

 The State Assembly must prevail on State and Federal Government to set up and inaugurate a commission of inquiry immediately comprising of State and Federal Governments representatives, labour unions representatives, media representatives, civil societies representatives, UN representatives, AU representatives, NEMA representatives, Security agencies representatives to ascertain the remote and immediate cause of the crisis, take comprehensive inventory of lives and properties lost so far, and chart a way forward for effective emergency and humanitarian response.

 The State Assembly should also compel the State Government with support of the Federal Government and International Organizations set up Temporary Shelters Camps to cater for the displaced communities pending when normalcy is fully restored.

 All stakeholders from and around Zamfara state should support the ongoing operations by the Security Agencies by giving them the necessary political and technical support they require to quell these rampaging bandits.

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