Worried by the increasing rate of banditry in the North, particularly in Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Sokoto states, the apex northern socio-cultural group, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has convened a meeting of its board of trustees.
A member of the Board of Trustees of the ACF, who confided in The Punch on Tuesday, said the meeting, which would hold on Wednesday (today), would discuss the rising incidence of kidnappings and killings in the North in particular, and the country in general.
The ACF convened the meeting just as the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, indicted some prominent traditional rulers in the North for aiding bandits in the North-West.
Although the spokesman for the ACF, Alhaji Muhammad Biu, declined to comment on the allegation against the traditional rulers, he confirmed that the forum’s BOT would meet on Wednesday (today) over the problem of banditry.
In an SMS to Punch, Biu stated, “We have the BoT meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) to discuss the general insecurity due to kidnappings and insurgency in the country; for now, no comment please.”
But another member of the forum, who issued a statement last week, said the group was concerned that banditry was assuming a dangerous dimension.
“The ACF’s Board of Trustees is meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) and the issue of banditry which has assumed a dangerous dimension will feature prominently during the meeting,” the source said.
The northern body last week raised the alarm over the rising spate of kidnappings and other forms of banditry in some parts of the region.
Biu, who issued a statement on the issue, had said, “The Arewa Consultative Forum and indeed Nigerians are worried by reports of the kidnapping of innocent people along the highways and the frequent attacks on villages by some bandits.
“The kidnappings and attacks on the people, especially along the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway and many villages in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Kaduna states as well as many parts of the country are cruel, barbaric and inhuman.”