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ACF seeks Zamfara gov’s probe over students’ abduction

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Apex Northern socio-cultural and political organization, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), yesterday, called on Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara to reveal the identities of those behind kidnappings in the state or be treated as an accomplice to the crime.

The ACF also challenged security agencies to question the governor on the “identities of the criminals he is trying to hide.” The governor had, in the wake of the abduction of about 300 girls from Government Girls’ Secondary School, Jangebe, Zamfara State, stated that Nigerians will be shocked by the identities of those behind the abductions.

“…I want to inform you that there are many revelations in relation to the abduction of these students. Many people will be surprised to hear those people behind the abduction of these innocent children. “They are not comfortable with th

e progress I am getting as a result of my peace initiative and they want to do all they can to sabotage my efforts. “I will, insha Allah, succeed at the end of the day and they will bury their faces in shame,” Matawalle had told the visiting 17 Emirs on Sunday. ACF said it was stunned by the governor’s revelation that he is aware of those responsible for kidnapping across his state. The Forum stated that even if the heavens will fall, the governor should mention those behind the heinous crime.

National Chairman of ACF, Chief Audu Ogbe, in a statement, also called on the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers to stop their embargo on food supply to the South, adding that the move will be counterproductive. ACF noted that the blockade is not necessary since the country is not at war with itself, adding that the move will only complicate some of the issues the country is already grappling with. On the insecurity in Zamfara, Ogbe said: “ACF is stunned by a statement accredited to the Zamfara Governor, Bello Matawalle. The governor is reported in the media to have told 17 Emirs who paid a sympathy visit to him on the kidnap of 317 schoolgirls from Government Girls’ Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Mafara that he knew the identities of the kidnappers and if he revealed their identity, Nigerians will be shocked.

“We ask the governor to reveal their identity and let Nigerians be shocked even if the heavens fall. “We also ask the security agencies to question the governor on the identities of the criminals he is trying to hide. If he refuses to disclose their identities, he must be treated as an accomplice to the criminal act of kidnapping.”

Ogbe, a former minister, stated that the North is embarrassed by the spate of abductions and the careless statements from people like the Zamfara governor. “The ACF has been embarrassed by the spate of kidnappings, especially of schoolchildren spreading like wildfire all over the North.

People in positions of authority that will help us out of this mess like Governor Matawalle must stop embarrassing the North and country with careless statements on a serious issue like the kidnapping of school children. “Zamfara State and the North are way behind the rest of the country in educational development. The serial kidnappings of school pupils in the North will only worsen a bad and unacceptable state of education in the North.”

Meanwhile, the ACF said it “shares the concerns of Nigerians over the decision of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers to stop movements of needed food from the North to the South.” “We call on the leadership of the union to put a halt to their so-called embargo and blockade. Nigeria is not at war with itself and such a drastic action is not necessary.

It will only further complicate the socio- economic and political problems facing our country today. “The members of the union are said to have suffered severe losses during the #EndARS riots and the recent violence in Shasha in Oyo State targeted against Northerners.

“We believe that whatever may be the difficulties of their members in operating in other parts of the country, ACF leadership, led by me, is willing to help them solve these by talking to security agencies and the government. “There is no need mounting a blockade by one section of the country against the other. Whatever may be our differences, the ACF as an ardent believer in free trade believes that goods should be allowed to move freely. “This extreme measure is not progressive and even counterproductive. This is not the way to go,” the forum said.


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