The Northern Elders Forum has kicked against some of the measures taken by some governors in the region to contain banditry.
The measures included the closure of markets and schools, imposition of curfew, ban of cattle movement, and a shutdown of communications networks.
Reacting yesterday, NEF’s spokesperson, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, in a statement, said the measures would embolden the bandits to wreak more havoc.
He said the measures represent virtual economic and social lockdowns on people who had been at the mercy of criminals for a long time.
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He said unless the measures were accompanied by an aggressive and effective assault on the banditry and kidnapping industry, “they’ll merely add to the misery and hopelessness of our communities.
“Worse, they could further embolden the bandit and the kidnappers when it becomes clear that governments and security agencies cannot go beyond lockdowns on communities.
“Communities themselves will lose even more faith in the capacity of the Nigerian State to respond to their desperate circumstances. The perception that communities are on their own must never be allowed to take deeper roots, but it’ll when people see only the bandit and the kidnapper winning.”
He urged the federal government to assist states to relieve communities living under additional pressures.
“State governments imposing additional hardships on communities must know that the measures they’re introducing must produce tangible results within a period that makes them meaningful and tolerable,” he said.