Tukur Buratai, the chief of the Nigerian Army, has blamed the violence in Zamfara and other states in the north-west on aggrieved politicians who lost out in the recently conducted elections.
Lieutenant General Buratai made this declaration on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 when the House of Representatives Committee on the Army visited the Headquarters of the Theatre Command Operation Lafiya in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
“There are several political interests; politicians in particular who lost in the election and because of their defeat, therefore they are trying to take revenge sponsoring some of those banditry activities and seeming conflicts between farmers and herders,” he stated.
The Army chief explained that strong evidence indicates that the attacks, including the kidnappings going on in the northwest, have political undertones.
According to him, the House Committee’s visit is an opportunity to call on the members to prevail on some of these politicians to look at national interest first before any other political or sectional interest.
“We have some strong evidence, but we are still being conscious, but the best thing is to advise these politicians who are aggrieved for no just cause and are inflicting serious injury and discomfort to individuals and the country,” he said.
Buratai’s claim comes nine days after the Nigerian Army banned the use of motorcycles in the north-western states of the country, due to the increased rate of kidnapping and banditry.
While announcing the ban in a statement, the Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, said the affected states are Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kaduna, Sokoto, Zamfara and Niger.
The Army explained that “armed bandits, criminals and kidnappers hibernate and all around where troops are conducting operations alongside other security agencies.”
The development follows ongoing military operations in the affected states code-named Exercise Harbin Kunama aimed at combating security challenges in the area.