By Suleiman Umaru
Barely one week after president Muhammadu ordered Lucky Irabour, an Army General and Chief of Defense Staff, CDS, and the other service Chiefs to find lasting solution Banditry and Terrorism in different parts of Nigeria, may have provoked the Ansaru Group Terrorists, a breakaway faction of BokoHram and Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, and their Bandits Group Collaborators, operating in Kaduna and Niger, Ibrahim Babangida, a retired Army General and former military President home state, to attack Troops of the 7 Guard Brigade, described as the Elitist Brigade in Abuja , the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
The Troops of the 7 Guards Brigade, according to Geofrey Annebi Abakpa, an Army Captain and spokesperson of the Brigade provides’’ security for the Presidential Villa and the FCT. The Troops who were said to be on their usual patrol of the city in the late hours of Monday, July 25, 2022, which took them to the Kubwa-Bwari Area to get rid of the criminal elements who have been threatening the place over the last couple of months were said to have been attacked along Kubwa-Bwari road as some soldiers wounded. The Terrorist were said to have targeted the Nigerian Law School in Bwari, Area Council, for the attack before they ran into the Elites Guards Brigade Troops along the Kubwa –Bwari road.
The trigger –hungry Terrorists were said to have attacked two adjoining villages to the school, forcing Muhammed Musa Belo, the FCT minister, at the instance of the Katsina state born Nigerian President, to order the closure of Federal Government College located in Kwali Area Council over the growing security concerns in the city.
Given the Terrorists attack of the Elites Guards Brigade where some soldiers were said to have been wounded and the recent attack on the Kuje Custodial centre may have have put thousands of FCT residents, in a state of fear.
The fear became pronounced because of the rumour making the rounds that some soldiers attached to the Elite Guard Brigade were abducted by the Terrorists during the attack on them. Captain Abakpa, the spokesperson of the Elites Brigade would not take it. He had said that the news broke out because they were still trying ‘’to account for the soldiers who may have taken cover due to the attack’’.
Aware of the fear that have gripped the FCT residents in the recent time, despite the tight security in the city, Captain Abakpa, spokesperson of the 7 Guards Brigade, has told them that cares to listen that ‘’there was no basis to worry about another attack on soft targets in the city by Terrorist , urging ‘’the people to go about their normal businesses and keep cooperating with the military by providing timely information to enable them to get rid of the Terrorists .
He asserted that the attack on the Elite Troops by terrorists will not ‘’forestall them from doing their job of combing the Kubwa and Bwari Area council to fish out the criminal elements who have infiltrated the Area from Niger and Kaduna states to wreak havoc in the outskirst of the FCT’’.
In spite of step taken by Captain Abakpa, the Presidential Guards Brigade spokesperson and Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and Culture to reassure Nigerians that there was no cause for alarm to worry about the recent attacks on Troops of 7 Guards Brigade patrolling the Kubwa –Bwari Area and the recent invasion of Kuje Correctional facility, the FCT residents still appear to have lost total confidence on the capability of the security agencies , particular, the Force, to protect Lives and property in the city. This is evident as economic and social activities appear to have grounded to a halt as most businesses and offices close much earlier to allow staff to go home to avoid playing into the hands of the Terrorists.
Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, appears to have risen up to the challenge as he had deployed additional policemen to strategic Areas in the FCT, to further give the people hope to go about the business without fear of Terrorists attack.
Muyiwa Adejobi, a Chief Superintendent of Police and Force Spokesperson, had said that the IGP, who could not his feelings had charged the Force Intelligence Bureau ‘’to ensure robust information gathering’’ to help the Force patrol Teams to carry out their timely interventions whenever contacted by informants.
He was said to have assured aggrieved residents of the FCT, that the Force under his close watch will leave no stone unturned ‘’to fortify the FCT and its environs ‘’, which security analysts had repeatedly said has become very porous like the nation’s border communities with the nighbouring West African countries of Benin Republic, Niger, TChad and the Central African country of Cameroun. Appealing to the people’’ to synergise with the Force and other security agencies personnel’’ , he noted that ‘’this is the only way to forestall any breach of security in the nation’s capital’’.
Nigerians have opportunity of electing a Presidential Candidate of their choice to take over from Buhari after the 2023, general elections that will tackle the high level of insecurity in the country instead of sitting down in the fence or complaining all the time of bad governance by the ruling All Progressive or the previous Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, government by completing their Permanent Voters’Card registration process which terminates on July 31, 2022.
Professor Mahmoud Yakubu, led Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had provided Nigerians with variety of alternatives by registering 18 political parties which had had already submitted the names of their Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates to the Commission, for the February 25, 2023, Presidential and National Assembly elections.
Note that all the Candidates had given their words’’ to tackle the security challenges in the country’’. Peter Obi, a former governor of Anambra state and Labor Party, LP, Presidential Flag bearer may have added to it the revitalization of the nation’s power , education, planning and Finance sectors of the economy.
This may have informed why he had embarked on a three –day visit to the North African country of Egypt ‘’ to understudy the country’s power, Education, Panning and Finance sectors and to see how he can replicate same in Nigeria if elected as the next Nigerian President in the 2023,general elections.
Given his seriousness to fix Nigerian’s battered economy, which Atiku Ababakar, a former Nigerian Vice President during Olusegun Obasnjo’s Administration had said ‘’it will be a miracle for him to win the 2023, general elections , which political analysts had said is a struggle between the APC and PDP, which had dominated Nigerian politice between 1999 and now.
But the outcome of the Saturday, July 16, 20222, governorship elections in the south west state of Osun, decribed as Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and APC, Presidential Candidate , traditional political base, and who had repeatedly said that ‘’it is his turn to rule Nigeria after Buhari to fix the country’s batter economy ad security challenges may have given hope to Nigerian voters that their vote will count in the election.
Tehe APC, Presidential Candidate, may have read the handwriting on the wall that he has to intensify his consultations and make friends across the Niger to win the heart of the people to win the election which may prove difficult because of the new voting system which had made rigging difficult. The Nigerian President who is committed ‘’ to conducting free, fair and credible elections in 2023’’ still stands by his word going by the performance of INEC, in the Ektii and Osun general elections.
Already, the Modal Vote Accreditation System, BVAS, which makes it possible for the voter’s finger- print and face to be captured during voting had been test- run in the Ekiti and Osun governorship in June and July 2022, respectively, and found to be working as the Commission have continued to perfect on the inadequacies that have noticed in the implementation of the voting system.
It was not surprisisng why the Commission has continued to register more voters for the 2023, general elections that might make it to be very competitive for the 18 Presidential Candidates of the 18 political parties to slug out . Nasir El- Rufai, governor of Kaduna state may have known that the game is up that had declared three-day holiday in the state to enable workers and those who have not registered to complete their personal voter’ card , PVC, registration exercise on or before July 31st, 2022, being the deadline set by INEC. The governor was said to have pleaded with employees based in the state ‘’ to support their staff to register and exercise their right to vote in the general elections’’
In Lagos state, Olusegun Agbaje, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, had revealed that statistics showed that ‘’the state currently has about seven million registered voters’’ which has thrown the open for grab by any of the registered parties unlike the previous elections in the state where the then Alliancce for Democracy , AD , and the ruling APC, had dominated the politics of the state.