The Zamfara chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), has urged the Nigeria Police Force to permit the Civilian Joint Task (CJTF), to carry rifles to ease the fight against bandits in the north western state.
Its chairman, Alhaji Mohammed Umar, made the appeal on Wednesday in Guau, during a Stakeholders Security Town Hall Meeting with the acting IGP, Mohammed Adamu.
He said that members of the CJTF, who were recently recruited by the state government to complement the effort of security agents, were conversant with the terrain of their respective areas and could identify most of the criminals operating around them.
Represented by the Chairman of Zurmi Local Government Area, Dr Auwal Moriki, the ALGON boss regretted that the military had written to the state government requesting the withdrawal of the JTF.
“We believe that withdrawing the CJTF is not advisable because we have seen how determined these youths are, in the fight against the bandits. We are confident that having received training from the armed forces, they can do the job.
“If they can be closely supervised by the Police while they handle the weapons, the challenges will certainly be surmounted and we are confident that this can be achieved,” he said.
Also commenting on the matter, the representative of the CJTF, Mr. Ibrahim Muhammed, commended members of the CJTF for their bravery but acknowledged that there were some bad eggs among the security agents.
“One of the major challenges we realised is that Police prosecutors often drop charges against hardened criminals that had confessed to committing atrocities when they get to the courts.
“Ultimately, such criminals are set free and they return to threaten those they suspect reported them.
“We are ever ready to do our best to curb the activities of these terror groups, but we need your support, prayers and the cooperation of the security agents we work with,” he said.
Also contributing, the representative of the Council of Ulama in the state, Dr Aliyu Jangebe, called on leaders to be just and fair to all citizens, while citizens must pray for the leaders.
“We may have individually or collectively offended God and we need to seek His forgiveness and help for us to see the end of this problem,” he advised.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the meeting was attended by traditional and community leaders, as well as herders and farmers.