Former Kaduna senator Shehu Sani has called for the creation of a regional security outfit in Nigeria’s northwest.
If created, the security setup will be similar to the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), aka ‘Operation Amotekun,’ it appears.
Sani made the call in the wake of the life-claiming attacks on Abuja-Kaduna trains by terrorist bandits.
“We need our own North Western Security Network (NWSN) to tackle bandits,” he demanded in a social media post on Wednesday.
“If you are traveling to and from Kaduna by road or rail, until you pass the villages of Rijana or Katari before you know that you have made your journey; anything short of that your life is on a scale of probability,” in a separate post on Twitter.
“If the government and security agencies can’t crush these terrorists and bandits kidnapping and killing our people in Northern and Southern Kaduna, people should be officially allowed to carry same weapons and let’s see who owns the land,” Sani demanded in another tweet on Thursday morning.
Amotekun was created to tackle security challenges in the South-West following incessant kidnappings, rape, armed robberies, farm vandalism and killings allegedly carried out by herdsmen.
Prominent voices in the North, including ones from Aso Rock, had kicked against the move but the federal government allowed Amotekun to run after getting assurances that it would not supercede the police and other federal-government-controlled security agencies. South-West governors were also adamant.
Under Nigerian law, the armed forces, including the police, are controlled by the president.
Amotekun is, however, under state and regional control. There are expectations that it would form the core of state police in the South-West should legislation allow for that.
In the past, Northern Nigeria responded to security challenges by empowering local vigilantes to go after attackers. Civilian-JTF, which assists the Nigerian Army in fighting Boko Haram, is a good example of this arrangement.