Insecurity: Nigeria Time Bomb

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By Lateef Adegite

 With the recent attempted attack on  the Convoy of Samuel Lorarer  Ortom,  a former minister of Trade and Investments during the Administration of the erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan and now governor of Benue state, north central Nigeria,, by suspected armed herdsmen  while visiting a Farm in Makurdi, the state Capital, the country appears to be sitting to be sitting on a keg of gun powder. This is because of the anger in the country  as the various ethnic groups across the country are now singing of the song of division. From the south east, southwest to the north Central, the story is the same: We want to go as the armd herdsmen and Bandits attack are becoming too many.

It is instructive to note that that Benue, the north central state had remained over the years as one of the flash point states  at the centre  of Nigeria’s farmers-herdsmen clashes. Ortom ,the Benue state governor may have given the Ibrhim Attahiru, a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff, CAS, troops  a clue on how to get the herdsmen Bandits in the state, particular .  

Ortom: Governor Of Benue State

 He had said that the armed herdsmen are living in the forest between Makurdi and Abinse in the state, notng that they  come out when they want to Commit   Comities-rape women, kill and main innocent  people  , destroy farmlands and then run across the river  when the security Operatives are after them  but return back to the forest when the Coast is clear to regroup.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General, had mandated the security Operatives to move into the forest in different parts of the country,  comb  it and any one they found with sophisticated weapons, like AK47, they should shoot him but that was how far the order could go.  

Many believe that if the security Chiefs had followed the presidential directive to deploy the troops into the forest across the country  between March3 and now, the armed herdsmen and Bandits would have been cut to size and normalcy returned to the country. But they have allowed the Criminal elements to go back to the drawing board to perfect their strategies of carrying out their deadly attacks on the farmers and Communities in the flash point states

The armed herdsmen and Bandits  may have realised that the security Operatives will find it difficult to move into the  forest, let alone  think of coming to Comb the area to chase them out  that they have resorted to attacking top government officials, particular, the governors, in the flash point states to send a message  to the Katsina state born Nigerian President  and Commander –In-Chief of  the Nigerian Armed Forces, C-in-C, that they are ready for the security Operatives at any time.

The recent attempted attack on governor Ortom of Benue state  may have been carried out by the armed herdsmen to draw out the Nigerian security Operatives  out for war in order to turn the north Central state to another Zamfara and Kaduna, in the north west or Borno in the north east and thus, make the country completely ungovernable as the troops will be battling in different fronts to contain the Criminal elements.  

The rumour making the rounds was that the outspoken Benue state governor had been  attacked  by the armed  herdsmen because of his frosty relationship with the Fulani hersmen in the state. But the governor has  come out to dismiss the claim, insisting that he  has no problem with the herdsmen.

  The governor who may have used the Opportunity of the attempted attack on his Convoy at Tyo Miu along Markurdi/Gboko  road  in Markurdi Local government area of the state  by the armed herdsmen on Saturday, March 20, 2021, had said that  his problem is with the herdsmen  ‘’who have vowed to take over Nigeria as their ancestral home’’.

An aggrieved Ortom had told those that cares to listen  that ,if as a governor leading a state, , he could not go to his farm , with all the security details  around him , then one could imagine ‘’ the pains of the people of the state in the hands of the armed herdsmen  in their farms’’.

The prompt attention of the security Operatives to arrive the scene of the inciden may have saved the situation from degenerating as the people were poised to move into the forest to search for the armed herdsmen who were out to kill their governor. Ortom is optimistic  that with the steps that had been adopted by the security Operatives to avoid  a repeat of such attacks  on him or any other sitting governor in the state in the future, it will not be too long the people of the state will enjoy total peace in their own land ‘’to return  and do their work back in their farm, live and survive, without fear of being killed by  armed herdsmen’’.

The Benue governor had repeatedly said that the attempted attack on his Convoy by the armed herdsmen was not unexpected as information had  already filtered  out that he should expect such an attack in the state.

 The Leadership of the Miyetti Allah cattle Breeders  Asociation of Nigeria, were said to have singled  him out in their Yola, Capital of Taraba, home state of Theophilous Danjuma, a retired amy General and former minister of Defence, during the Administration of for President Olusegun Obasanjo, meeting  for Assassination in order to give them freedom to operate in the state unrestrained.

 While the security Chiefs are said to  doing  everything  within their capacity to secure the country as directed by the Nigerian President , Nyesom Wike, the Opposition , People’s Democratic governor of Rivers state and one of the strong critics of  Buhari,  may have sounded a death nail for Nigeria if Orton, the north central state of Benue  governor had been killed by the armed herdsmen. ‘’if the armed herdsmen had killed Ortom, be prepared to bury Nigeria’’,  Wike  appears to have told   the retired army General, Nigerian President.

Wike: Governor Of Rivers State

The armed herdsmen attack on the Benue state Counterpart may have given oil –rich Rivers state governor the ammunition to speak about on  the plot to kill  him  by  Jamil  Sarham, an army Major General, and then General Officer Commanding, GOC, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, in Port Harcourt, , in Connivance with the APC, Leadership in the state to kill him  during the 2019 , general election.

The Leadership of the  PDP,  may have seen the attempted attack on one of their serving governors in the northe  central Geo-political region as an Opportunity  to drag the Nigerian President , to the Peoples Court over his inability  to secure the country ,thus putting the life every Nigerian in  danger of attack by armed herdsmen , Bandits , Boko Haram or Islamic State of West African Insurgents, ISWAP, Insurgents. The party, which sees itself as the government in waiting in 2023, had described as ‘’reckless the Assassination attempt on governor Ortom’’.

In cutting the wings of the armed herdsmen and Bandits,  the party has called on the  army General  ‘’to put  the  machinery in motion  to arrest and prosecute  the  assailants who had trailed  the Benue governor to the farm’’.  The Opposition party Leadership were said to have also pleaded with Buhari, in his Capacity  as the Chairman of the National Security Council, NSC, ‘’to beef up the security  around  governor Ortom, who has become  the major target of the armed herdsmen, acting on the instruction of the Leadership of  Miyetti Allah, in the state.

A Statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, the Party spokesperson, had attributed the attempted attack on the Benue state governor to his outspokenness and recent threat of exposing those allegedly sponsoring  the incessant  attacks  on Communities  in the state.

Appealing to the governor’ not to be deterred  by the armed herdsmen attack, the party Leadership were said to have urged him to be Courageous  and always be on the red alert, at all times, while providing Leadership to the people of the state’’.

  The party which is getting worried over the security situation in the state and the country in general, had called on the people ‘’ to provide all the relevant information to the security agencies personnel to enable them do their work in order to ‘’fish out  the armed herdsmen and their north west  Bandit Collaborators  in the state  and other parts of the country. 

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