The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has charged governor Bello Matawalle, of Zamfara State, to tell Nigerians those behind the abduction of over 300 schoolgirls of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe or risked being called an accomplice.
The schoolgirls, who were abducted about five days ago regained freedom on Tuesday.
Speaking on Sunday, Matawalle had reportedly said Nigerians would be shocked to know the people behind the abduction.
He had also alleged that some persons attempted to sabotage efforts to release the schoolgirls.
Reacting to the governor’s comments, the ACF asked security agencies to question him on the identities of the criminals “he is trying to hide”.
In a statement by Audu Ogbe, ACF said it is “stunned” by the comments of the governor.
“We also ask the security agencies to question the governor on the identifies of the criminals he is trying to hide. If he refuses to disclose their identities, he must be treated as an accomplice to the criminal act of kidnapping,” the statement read.
“The ACF has been embarrassed by the spate of kidnappings especially of school children spreading like wildfire all over the north. People in positions of authority that will help us out of this mess like Governor Matawalle must stop embarrassing the north and country with careless statements on a serious issue like the kidnappings of school children.
“Zamfara State and the north are way behind the rest of the country in educational development. The serial kidnappings of school pupils in the north will only worsen a bad and unacceptable state of education in the North.”
The forum also expressed concern over the decision of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers Association (AUFCDA) to stop the movement of food items from the north to the south.
According to the forum, the action will further complicate the socio-economic and political problems bedevilling Nigeria.
“We call on the leadership of the union to put a halt to their so-called embargo & blockade. Nigeria is not at war with itself and such drastic action is not necessary,” the statement read.
“We believe that whatever may be the difficulties of their members in operating in other parts of the country, ACF leadership led by me is willing to help them solve these by talking to security agencies and the government,” he said.