Ayoola Gives An Insight On How To Curb Nigeria’s Security Challenges

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By Lateef Adegbite

Banditry appears to have returned to the north central state of Plateau state after several years of relative Calm. Recall that the violence in the state during Olusegun Obasanjo Presidency between armed herdsmen and farmers was so pronounced that  the former  Ogun state born Nigerian President, declared a state of emergency in the Yakubu Gowon Home state.

 The crisis was said to have led to the dissolution of the state Executive Council and sack  of  Joshua Dariye, the state governor, as well as  the dissolution of the state House of Assembly   for failing  ‘’to end the cycle  of violence between the  Muslims and Christian Communities in the state. The bloodletting was said to have claimed more than 100,000 lives.

Th then Nigerian President  had appointed Chris Ali, a retired Army  General to take over  control of the Affairs of the state and ensure that there  was peace.  It was not surprising why successive Adminisrations and  Samuel Lanlong, the Present  governor of the state appeared to have  enjoyed relative peace   until the  insecurity situation in the  neighbouring Benue state and Niger, home state of retired Generals Ibrahim Babangida a former military President and Abdulsalami Abubakar,, a former Head of Stat  in the recent time.

Recent Arms herdsmen Attack In Jos North LGA, Of Plateay State

The recent  attacks  in the  Jos North and Riyom  Local government Areas  bear eloquent testimony to the return of violence in the state.   The Suspected herdsmen were  said to have attacked Dong Community and its environs in Jos  North Local Government Area  in the state.

 Daniel Chioji, the village Head had said that the armed herdsmen  attackers who invaded the village on Sunday, May, 23, 2021,  came under the cover of darkness to unleash the mayhem, leaving eight persons dead, comprising of five females, two males and one infant.

Another village that was said to have been raided by the armed herdsmen    was Kiwi, in Riyom Local Government Area, which a  resident of Jos told The Value News  is about a Kilometer  rayfield Airport, now  renamed Yakubu Gown Airport where eight people were said to have  been killed.  This is an indication that the armed herdsmen have entered the  City, meaning that lives of  passengers and other motorists  plying between the Yakubu  Gowon Airport and the city are in danger without adequate security arrangement  on the two flashpoint Local government Areas in the state.  Residents said eight persons  were killed and one other persons injured.

 Describing the armed herdsmen who had  carried out the attack in the two Communities in the two Local Government Areas in the state as barbaric, senseless  and inhuman, an aggrieved Timothy Datong, a  member of the State House Of Assembly, has called on ‘’he security operatives to live up to their responsibilities by responding to distress calls at every point in time to be able to contain the activities of the Killer gang herdsmen. .

  Gabriel Ubah, the Plateau state Police Command, spokesperson,   had confirmed that the Command actually received a distress call  from  the Communities attacked by the armed herdsmen.  He had said that  they responded   with ‘’the deployment of a combined team  of security personnel   led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police to confront the attacks, who were forced to flee.  He disclosed that the officers have been deployed’’ to the flashpoint areas in the state to avoid a total breakdown of Law and order in the state’’.

But the people appear to have disagreed that  the  state Police Command  responded to their distress  Call. They noted that if the Command had responded quickly to their distress call the armed  herdsmen could not have been able to kill the sixteen  people  in the two Communities attacked. This may have informed  why Datong, a  member of  the State House of Assemble had appealed  to the Law Enforcement Authorities to always take distress calls serious .

 He has urged the  Plateay state Law enforcement Operatives to ensure  that the perpetrators of the heinous acts in Dong and Kiwi Communities in Jos North and Riyom Local Government Areas respectively, were apprehended and dealt with according to the Laws of the land.

The situation in Niger, Babangida , home state, looks more  worrisome. The  Banditry and kidnapping  situation in the Gauraka Community in the Tarfa  Local government  Area,  which is about five Kilometers  from Abuja , the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to block the  Abuja and Kaduna  expressway  to draw the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari and his security Chiefs  to the incessant cases of kidnapping  by Bandits who are said  to be Collaborating with the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHarram ,fighters , in the state.

Garuka Protesters In Niger State Over Kinapping Activities In The Community By Bandits

The aggrieved residents of Garuka Community had  said  that the  kidnapping situation became worse ever since Abubakar Bello, the state governor, announced that  the the north east state of Borno based insurgents had infiltrated the Shiroro Local  Government Area of the state and hoisted their flag in some of the communities. The Garuka Community residents may have shocked Nigerians  when they revealed that between April and now, more than 30  people  had been kidnapped from the Community by the Bandits who were  said to have demanded millions of naira ransom from the state government  before they could be released.

 There is no gainsaying the fact that  since the IBB home state  came under the attacks   of the Bandits between last year and now,  hundreds of people were said to have been killed  and over 15,000 people displaced in their respective homes and now taking refuge  in a temporary  Internally Displaced People, IDP’s, Camp, in the state, provided by Bello, the state governor.

Perhaps, to stop further attack on the Community and spread to the neighbouring Plateau state and the FCT,  the Garuka residents  had asked Usman Alkali Baba, the acting Inspector General of Police, IGP, and the military Authorities  to deploy more policemen and military personnel respectively to the Community and other flashpoint  Communities in the Tafa Local Government Area of the state.

Major General Ayoola, rtd

Henry  Ayoola, a retired Army Major General, had said that there was no basis for the rising insecurity situation in the north east and other parts of the country. The retired Army Major General had said that both Haram and the Islamic state of West African Province, ISWAP fighters, including  the Bandits operating in the north west states of Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina, home state of Buhari, as well as the north central state of Niger, and the armed  herdsmen, terrorising the country, could  easily be defeated with an’’ overwhelming Force’’.  

The retired Army major General had said that for the country to beat the Criminal elements , the fighting troops must show superiority in armaments, intelligence gathering ,psychological operations and Propaganda.  Worried over what is happening in the country,  Ayoola, who had appeared on Channels Television recently  had challenged the fighting  troops that they  must the beat the BokoHaram and ISWAP fighters to it including the Bandits and armed herdsmen , who are gradually spreading to other parts of  country to it.

 Given his experience , he noted with ‘’a combination  of more military personnel in the north east states of Borno, Yobe and north west states of Zamfaa, Kaduna and Katsina including the north central state of Niger,  arms and strategic training , the security threats against the country can be tackled’’.  He has suggested that on the attack on the Criminal elements ‘’it should be on a greater ratio of 3:1.  According to him, ‘’this should cover all round equipment, armament, information and intelligence

Air Marshall Amao: Chief Of Air Staff

.Isiak Oladayo Amao, an Air Marshall and Chief of Air Staff, who is  worried that between February 21, 2021 and May 21, 2021, a space of three months, NAF, had lost three of its procured Beechcraft  operational Aircrafts within a space of three months  used in supporting the ground troops  and  carrying out other activities   has set up a Committee’’ to conduct a safety audit  of all the NAF, operational and the engineering units which  are responsible for the  manning the Force operational Aircrafts. 

The Committee , which is headed by  Abraham Adole, an Air Vice Marshall, a Deputy Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, based in Maiduguri, Capital of Borno state, has members  drawn from both serving and retired officers ‘’of the NAF. The Committee members  were said  to have been mandated ‘to analyse  safety reports from operational  and engineering units  and recommend measures to enhance safety operations in the units. They were said to have been advised to  interact  also  with the units  operational and technical personnel ‘’ to get  their views and Observations,  and contributions on safety measures’’.

 Amao, the CAS, may have been encouraged to set up the Committee because of the Friday, May 21, Crash near the Kaduna International Airport which claimed the lives of  Ibrahim Attahiru, a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff, COAS,  Brigadier Generals Mi.  Abdulkadir, Olayinka,and Kuliya including Majors L.A. Hayat and Hanza  and Sergeants Umar and  Adasina including  Onyedepo, the ACM.. T.o. Asani and Olufade, both Flt Lts. were said to have  also lost their live in the crash.

In a related development, the Katsina state born Nigerian President  appears to have bowed to pressure from several quarters to overrule the 17 southern states governors’  decision to ban open grazing I the region  as a way to forestall incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen.

A Statement issued by Garba Shehu, a senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President,  on Media and Publicity at the instance of the retired Army General  had said   the southern governors  resolutions banning pen grazing in the southern part of the country  failed ‘’to provide solution  to the lingering  crisis  between farmers  and herdsmen in the  country’’.  The Presidential  Media Aide  said  Buhari  has ‘’Comissioned an approved  an actionable plan  of rehabilitating  grazing reserves in the states, starting with those  that are Committed  to the solution and complaints with stated requirements’’.  

 Samuel Ortom, a former minister of State, Trade and Investment during Goodluck Jonathan Presidency and now governor of Benue state,  who is having a running battle with armed herdsmen in the state,  had said that the All Progressive Congress, APC,  led Federal government  insistence on open grazing I the country is curious  and would heighten the insecurity situation of he country’’.

 Ortom, who could not hide his feelings was said to have told the Nigerian President  to  abandon his planned rehabilitation  work  on grazing reserves in the country  in June 2021,  noting that open grazing is n longer  sustainable in view of the growing  urbanization  and population of the country.

An aggrieve Benue state state governor, said the  Presidency  is alone  in pushing for the continuation  of the open grazing and return  of cattle  routes of the 150s and 1960s’’. He noted that by the Presidential decision to rehabilitate  grazing reserves,  he has clearly shown his support to the herdsmen  and further embolden  the armed herders  who ‘’ lay claim  to all lands  in Nigeria as belonging to the Fullani  to repeatedly invade  Communities  in different parts of the country and killing the original owners of such lands’’. ‘’Mr. President, Nigerians are not on the same page  with you on Pen grazing’’, he was  said to have told him . Hear him: it is too late to salvage the situation.                    

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