A political and cultural association of leaders in Northern Nigeria, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has called on the country’s President Muhammadu Buhari to declare other states such as Benue, Taraba and Borno States where the activities of bandits are rife no-fly zones.
President Buhari had declared Zamfara State a no-fly zone, the move he says are steps to crushing bandits operating in the state following the recent abduction of 279 schoolgirls in the state.
Chairman of the ACF, Audu Ogbeh in a statement released to newsmen by the National Publicity Secretary of the Forum, Emmanuel Yawe on Wednesday said a similar ban be extended to other parts of the country ravaged by bandits and insurgents so as to curtail criminal activities in the areas.
Mr Ogbeh, a former Nigerian Minister of Agriculture also congratulated the Zamfara state government on the safe release of the Jangebe girls.
He said: “Arewa Consultative Forum congratulates the people and government of Zamfara state on the safe release of the kidnapped schoolgirls from the Government Girls Secondary School in the state.
“We are also happy with the federal government’s decision to ban flights in the state.
“We also plead with the government to extend the ban to other states like Benue, Taraba, Borno where there are rumours that helicopters frequently drop arms for bandits and insurgents operating in these states.
“We believe that such an extended ban will curtail the operations of the criminals in these areas.”
By Abel Ejikeme