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News - North West - Sokoto Updated: April 21, 2024

Nuhu Ribadu speaks on ending insecurity in Northern Nigeria

By Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi
April 21, 2024
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The National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, has stated that the threat of instability in northern Nigeria may be mitigated by a thorough and coordinated response.

Ribadu revealed this in a speech delivered on Thursday at Usman DanFodiyo University's convocation ceremony in Sokoto.

He defined northern Nigeria's instability as a "complex web" impacted by socioeconomic, ethnic, and religious reasons.

Ribadu said that banditry has strong historical roots in the region and that the British capture of the Northern Protectorate in 1903, followed by union with the Southern Protectorate in 1914, was driven in part by a desire to reduce armed banditry and improve regional security.

The NSA said: “Although economic motives often dominate discussions about this amalgamation, the need to improve security, especially in the largely ungoverned Muslim North, was a significant factor.

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“Lord Lugard, the first Colonial Officer of the Protectorate, experienced numerous confrontations with armed bandits who used ambush tactics with devastating efficiency, underscoring the security challenges of the time.

“Lugard’s encounters in areas like Nupeland, Kano, and Borguland, where he was wounded by bandits, highlighted the region’s precarious security situation.”

According to Ribadu, there are now over 300 bandit warlords, "each commanding at least 50 fighters operational across different regions of Northern Nigeria."

However, Ribadu stated that the threat has evolved significantly, compounded by widespread small weapons trafficking in the area and throughout Nigeria.

He said: “Previously confined to local skirmishes and cattle rustling, modern-day banditry in the region has escalated into a lucrative and deadly operation. This involves kidnapping for ransom and large-scale violence that destabilises entire communities.

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“This evolution reflects broader socio-economic despair and a governance vacuum, realities that have allowed bandits to grow their tactics and access sophisticated weaponry.”

Ribadu stated that combating banditry in the country necessitates "not only a security response but also an understanding and addressing of its deep-rooted causes."

He found several causes fueling regional instability, including land use issues, shifting livelihoods and climate change, reciprocal radicalization, and security sector problems.

Ribadu went on to say that additional variables include access to weaponry, corruption and injustice, and regional spillover.

The NSA also emphasised the President Bola Tinubu administration's overall plan for dealing with national security concerns.

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Rasheed Olajide Awoniyi

Rasheed is a Prolific Content Writer who also has a niche in all Genres of Literature, Academic Pape...

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