Vanguard (Lagos)

3 April 2014

Nigeria: ACF Laments Spate of Killings in 17 Northern States

Kaduna — The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, yesterday, lamented that the entire northern states were being consumed by crises, saying 17 of the 19 states in the region were either being attacked by criminal gangs including Boko Haram insurgents and herdsmen.

ACF said the massive attacks had led to the death of thousands of innocent citizens as well as loss of property worth billions of Naira.

A statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, Muhammad Ibrahim, yesterday named some of the states under siege from Boko Haram terrorists or herdsmen attack as Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau and Kaduna among others.

It, however, commended the military and the Federal Government in particular over their renewed efforts to rid the north of terrorists and urged them to sustain the tempo.

ACF "noted the recent heavy deployment of troops and other security agencies in the North-East zone particularly, the Sambisa Forest" in Borno State as well as other "states like Benue, Kaduna, Plateau and Nasarawa to neutralize the enclaves of insurgents and criminal gangs," describing the development as re-assuring.

The statement read in part: "According to the Military High Command, as reported in the newspapers, the renewed synergy and cordial relationship among the armed forces coupled with their high morale, troops have recorded some successes in neutralizing the insurgency.

"ACF, therefore, commends the effort, the renewed vigour and resilience of the security agencies in tackling the menace of the insurgents and gunmen and equally calls on them to sustain the onslaught.

"The spate of killings in the northern states of Nigeria by gunmen and insurgents have continued to pose serious security challenges to the nation's security agencies. The daily attack on villages and communities by unknown gunmen and insurgents in most states of the north is barbaric, worrisome and unacceptable.

"Reports in the last one month have shown that 17 states of the northern region have witnessed persistent attacks by gunmen, insurgents and suspected herdsmen on innocent people leading to huge loss of lives, destruction of property and displacement of persons.

"ACF also calls on the nation's intelligence communities and security agencies to reconsider and strengthen their strategy and approach on this national malaise. The communities must also get involved in intelligence gathering and alert the security."

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