Continuing Menace Of Yan Boda In Azare

By Saleh Bature
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While we are sleeping, the security threats of Yan Boda is about to consume us. I can understand there is a problem on how some of us view this menace. There are some people who suggested that our people should come up with a program that will rehabilitate the wayward, very dangerous and directionless gangsters that post threats to us. I discussed with the few who feel this is the panacea to the nagging security situation in our midst.

While rehabilitation is a good approach to lessen the monstrosities of criminal gangs, the cost involved in the project will be prohibitive. But if we can bring all the people among us who have the wherewithal to contribute, involve the Bauchi state government and the emirate council, this will be the best solution to the problem. While this is the carrot approach to the threat, the stick option should not in anyway be relegated to the background. To end Yan Boda gangstarism, we have to stop sales of hard drugs as a first step. Drugs and the dangerous weapons the reprobates carry are the basic "raw materials" they use in their operations.

On the other hand, there are those who see the problem as a security issue than can best be handled by the security agencies. In my view, this position is weak and very wrong. No sensible people will sit idle by and allow security problem of this nature and magnitude to be handled by security agencies alone. We must understand that the security agencies and their personnel have limitations. There is no state in Nigeria that does not have security problem. The security agencies are overwhelmed. They need the support of parents, traditional authorities, religious leaders, educational institutions, vigilantee groups and the press to checkmate criminal activities. We have to approach the problem holistically. Tackling Yan Boda threats is a collective responsibility.

This is the reason why we must clamour for community policing. The crime committed by Sara Suka (hack and stab) in Bauchi and that of Yan Boda in Azare are parts of the social unrest that community policing seeks to address.

The Yan Boda is an organised group of young criminal gang that live in our midst. We know them and their parents. We see them every day moving around among us. We know their penchant and capacity to unleash terror on their rival gangs and on innocent victims of their nefarious activities. They are not people who come from outside to attack us and run away. Because they are emboldened, they feel they have the temerity to threaten us and tell us to keep our mouths shut. To scare the people, they attacked a ward chief for speaking against their reign of terror. They sent several warning notes to a boy who wrote about their locations, different rival gang names and modus operandi. The miscreants are using threats against the people who expose them to compel them to backtrack. Should we be cowed into silence, this will bolster them and weaken our resolve to fight and end the menace. We should do whatever is humanly possible to ensure that this does not happen.

I have been speaking with major stakeholders on Yan Boda. I have discussed or written at different times to traditional authorities, politicians, people in government and individuals who have the interest of the people at heart. It is true that the situation is not as bad as it is in other flashpoints. But there have been pockets of attacks recently. This shows that the menace is not yet over. There is therefore no room for complacency on issues bordering on security.

I do not want to go public with some of the names I have contacted and discussed about this existential threat to our survival as a people. I appreciate those who called or sent messages to me about what they have witnessed concerning the bloodletting ochestrated by Yan Boda gangsters in Azare town. What is important is for us to coordinate the different shades of opinion, advice and recommendations proffered by concerned citizens. The earlier we do this the better for all of us.

𝐒𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐡 𝐁𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞 can be reached via [email protected]