Was Insecurity in Kano, Taraba, Reason Buhari Sacked Two Ministers?
By Abdulsalam Mahmud
Since neither of them was the Minister of Defence or Police Affairs, the ‘unexpected’ reshuffling of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) by President Muhammadu Buhari, which saw Alh. Mohammed Sabo Nanono and Engr. Sale Mamman, leaving as serving FEC members, took many by surprise.
Nanono, the immediate-past Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and his colleague, Engr. Mamman, the immediate-past Minister of Power, were relieved of their duties, on Wednesday, after the weekly FEC meeting, in Abuja.
Briefing newsmen after the FEC session, Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to Mr. President, yesterday, said Buhari has approved a reshuffle in the cabinet formed on August 21, 2019.
“In a statement to cabinet members during the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday 1st September, President Buhari announced that Mohammed Sabo Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Engr. Sale Mamman, Minister of Power were leaving the cabinet.
“In the same vein, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, Minister of Environment, was redeployed to assume office as the Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development, while Engr. Abubakar D. Aliyu, Minister of State, Works & Housing will now be the Minister of Power.
“The President said the changes were sequel to the “tradition of subjecting our projects and programs implementation to independent and critical self-review” through sector reporting during Cabinet meetings and at retreats,” he noted.
Indeed, Nanono, who is from Kano State, and Mamman, an indigene of Taraba State, may not have ‘failed’ to turn around the agricultural and power sectors of the country’s economy.
But then, could their removal be as a result of rising insecurity, either in their individual states or across the country, though neither of them steered the affairs of the Defence Ministry, while they were FEC members?
Kano State, located in the North West, have once been plagued with Boko Haram insurgency. Prior to 2015, mosques and social gatherings in Kano metropolis, specifically, had come under attacks by daredevil suicide bombers and even Boko Haram terrorists.
At a point, a daring assassination attack was targeted at the late Emir of Kano, Alh. Ibrahim Ado Bayero, in 2013. The foremost traditional leader escaped the gruesome attack by the whiskers.
However, a new form of crime cum insecurity, which has since been brewed, has gripped the State. In recent times, the menace of phone stealing (through violent means) by drug-addicted ‘thugs’, especially within the Kano city centre, has becoming alarming.
Phone snatching, according to a recent media report, has once again become a serious security challenge in Kano despite measures by security agencies and the general public to curtail the menace.
The report said almost all parts of the metropolis are encountering the problem, as the phone snatchers continue to surface in all nooks and crannies within the city.
It added: “The situation has so degenerated that the snatchers now operate in the daytime and invade houses in various communities, a departure from their modus operandi of snatching phones on the main roads and in the night.
“Most of the criminals, said to operate under the influence of drugs, inflict injuries on their victims, a situation that has led to a couple of deaths.
“It was gathered that the phone snatchers now use a new way of attacking people, which is to block main roads, flyovers and underpass in large numbers and launch their attacks without fear.”
As for Taraba, the activities of bandits and fermers-herders clashes have held the State to ransom, for some years now. It is a daily staple in the media to hear or read about incidences of clashes between herders and farmers, together with bandits’ sacking villages, maiming lives and rustling livestock.
The state of worrisome insecurity in the State is one that has seemed to defy solutions. There was a time, the State House of Assembly enacted the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law in 2017, to promote modern techniques of animal husbandry, among others, due to the incessant upheavals between the herders and farmers.
Minding the damages so far caused by farmers/herders unrest in Taraba State, Governor Darius Ishaku also put in place strategies to forestall recurrence.
One of such plans, as disclosed by the Commissioner for Information and Reorientation, Danjuma Adamu, was to establish model ranches and livestock training centres in the state.
Gassol, Bali, Wukari, Ibi, Takum, Donga, Yorro, Sardauna, Ussa, Karim-Lamido, Ardo-Kola and Zing councils had witnessed series of upheavals between herders and farmers, which led to wanton destruction of life and property.
In June this year, upheavals that erupted between Tiv farmers and Fulani herdsmen in Utsua Daa and Baafada villages in Bali Local Council of the state, displaced no fewer than 1,000 residents from their homes.
Sometime in January, No fewer than 27 passengers travelling along Wukari to Takum Expressway were kidnapped by gunmen suspected to be bandits.
Then in April, a police officer was killed during an attack on Shoban Tikari, chairman of Takum Local government area.
The deceased police officer was attached to the council chairman. He was a member of the 67 mobile police squadron located in the area.
Takum and Wukari councils, in southern Taraba, have in recent times witnessed a surge of bandit attacks.
The attacks have resulted in the deaths of civilians and security personnel.
Again, the Emir of Muri Empire, Alh. Abbas Tafida, had in July, issued a 30-day ultimatum to herdsmen in the State to vacate the forest.
The Emir lamented that the herders who were received into the state, have been terrorizing residents of the state, kidnapping, killing and raping his subjects.
But months after Alh. Tafida’s directive, it seems the paramount traditional ruler’s cry never jolted concerned authorities to take necessary action towards ridding Taraba of bandits, as tales of barbaric attacks by bandits still subsist in various parts of Taraba.
Will the sacking of Nanono and Mamman make all other federal government appointees, who hail from Kano and Taraba, join hands to address the ills of phone snatching, banditry, farmers-herders clashes and insecurity, in general, in both states?
Or, will they wait till some of them are ‘suddenly’ shown the exit door out of their exalted offices or posts? Only time will tell.
*Mahmud is the Assistant Editor of PRNigeria, in Abuja, and wrote in via: [email protected]*
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