Insecurity: Buhari Seeks More International Support To Rid Nigeria Of Terrorism, Nigerien Security Operatives Arrest 40 Arms Dealers

By Lateef Adegbite

 President Muhammadu Buhari, appears to have made the international community to understand that Nigeria will not be able to contain the activities of the trans- border terrorists and Bandits terrorizing the country  alone.

  The Katsina state born Nigerian President had said that Nigeria will need more international collaboration ‘’to checkmate terrorism and Banditry posing as a threat’’.  The Nigerian President who could not hide his feelings when  the Canadian High Commissioner, Ambassador  James  Kingston Christoff  and  Ambassador Juan  Alfred Mirand Oritz,  of Mexico, submitted  their  Letters of credence to him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT,  had said that though,  the  Nigerian government had made meaningful progress I tackling terrorism and Banditry in the country   with the support of the friendly countries  but would still need more international support to sustain the efforts.

He may have alluded to the support of the North American countries of the United states,US, Canada and Mexico in  order  to encourage the two North American countries Ambassadors to impress it upon their home governments to support Nigeria the more in this trying times.

 .There is no gain saying the fact that   terrorism and Banditry have been on the increase in the Sahel region, which Buhari  had said was intended   ‘’to scuttle democratic sustenance in the  west and central African  sub- regions    because of the political instability in the North African country of Libya’’. He had told the Canadian and Mexican Ambassadors that ‘’the country is not left out of the equation as Banditry, kidnapping, herder/farmers crisis and insurgency are on the increase in the country.

Lawan: Senate President

Ahmad Lawan, Senate President, had described the insecurity situation in the country   as ‘frightening’’, noting that ‘’there is no- where to hide or go in this country today’’. The Borno state born Senate President has throwna challenge to the Buhari appointed service and intelligence Chiefs ‘’to come up with an effective solution   , as the crisis is gradually dislocating Abuja, where the Head of government is situated’’.

An aggrieved  Lawan may have indicted Buhari  when he said  ‘‘the laxity  with which  the security issue  of the country was being tackled is appalling’’ .Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, a Muslim Cleric, had  accused the Buhari Administration of spending  $16 billion over the last seven years to tackle terrorism  in the north east states of Borno, Yobe and Banditry,in the north west states of Zamfara, described as home state of the Bandits, Sokoto, Kaduna , Katsina, the President home state and Niger, home state of Ibrahim Babangida, a former Nigerian military President without commensurate impact on security in the country.

While the Nigerian government is still grappling with the security challenges  of the country which had lingered on  between 2009 and now, the Federal ministry of Finance, Budget and National planning, at the instance of the Nigerian President  has purchased   vehicles worth  N1.4 million  to help Niger Republic  to tackle its  own security challenges. That much was confirmed by, Hajia  Zainab Ahmed, the minister.

 She may have shocked Nigerians when she disclosed  that ‘’providing  intervention  to the neighbouring West African country  was not new’’ , meaning that the  Nigerian President  who has the prerogative to do so  has been supporting the  neighbouring Niger Republic ,  over the last seven years when the security situation  in the country  was getting worse   on a daily basis.The most advertised of such helps was the Kano- Katsina –Mahradi railway project which was said to have taken off  and the gas and oil pipeline  which has become an issue  in world politics.

The Nigerian government may have decided to support the Nigerien   government to tackle the issues of insecurity, particular, cattle rustling and Banditry in the Mahradi region which spread   to Zamfara state in 2011 and subsequently to other north west states of   Katsina, Kaduna, Sokoto and the north central state of Niger. Note that there have also been occasional attacks on communities in Plateau and Taraba, home state of Theophilous Danjuma, a retired Army General and former minister of Defence during Olusegun Obasanjo Administartion.

President Bazoum Of Niger Republic

 Many are worried that linking  the Kaduna-Katsina  rail line to Mahradi  region in Niger Republic would further worsen the insecurity situation in Nigeria.  Mohammed Bazoum, the Nigerien President had told Bello Mohammed Matawalle, governor of Zamfara state in December 2021,that the armed Bandits whohave entered into Nigeria to cause havoc came through   the country’s Mahradi region. He had said that the criminal elements had entered the region from Madawa and Bayan Dutsi regions which are close to Mauritania and the North African country of Libya.

Until the Nigerian President approved the purchase of N1.4 billion vehicles to support the Nigerien government to battle its insecurity challenges, Matawalle, the Zamfara state governor had   donated   five brand new Hilux vehicles to the governor of the Mahradi region to help in the fight against terrorism.  Only recently, Bazoum, the Nigerien President gave a National award to Matawalle, Abubakar Bagudu,    and Abubakar  Badaru, all governors of north wet states of Zamfara, Kebbi and Jigawa respectively for their contribution towards addressing security in his  country.

  He had said that their contribution to Niger Republic had  helped in checkmating  trans-border  crimes and terrorism  which have helped in securing his country  and the neighbouring north western states  of Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi  and the north central state of Niger.

 According to the Nigerien President, Matawale,  the  Zamfara state governor, continued worry  over ’’the inflow  of weapons   trafficking  through his country into Nigeria and the several visits  to Niger to share  intelligence  helped the country security personnel  to arrest  more than  40 notorious  arms and ammunition  dealers  inside  Niger Republic  whose destination  is Nigeria.

The Nigerien President may have given a clue to the Nigerian security Chiefs that most of the arms used by the Bandits Group operating in the north- west geopolitical region were smuggled into Nigeria from the Mahradi region of Niger Republic.         

  While the Nigerian government is out to support Niger Republic to tackle its security challenges but that may not have stopped the influx of the armed foreign Bandits into Nigeria. The recent attack on Audu Mdaki, an Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, in charge of Zone 12 in the Barde area of Kaduna speaks volume.  The AIG and one unidentified officer were said to have sustained

bullet wounds but the AIG, Orderly was no lucky. He was said to have been gunned down by the heavily armed Bandits in the attack.

The increased cases of terrorism and Banditry in Nigeria may have encouraged Air Marshall Olayinka Isiaka Amao, Chief of Air Staff,  CAS,  to give , a matching order to Nigerian Air Force, NAF, Commanders   in the various theatres of operations across the country  ‘’to show no mercy to the Bandits and terrorists’’. The Air Marshall had urged the Commanders ‘’to deploy maximum fire power against the criminal elements posing as a security threat in the country’’.

Air Marshall Amao , who is determined  to crush the criminal elements operating the north- east and north- west geopolitical regions , including the north central state of Niger   has underscored ‘’the need  for effective  allocation and utilization of all NAF, platforms deployed for operations in the north west  and the north central state of Niger  for enhanced  operational  effectiveness’.

Usman: IGP

In a related development, Usman Alkali Baba, Inspector General of Police, IGP, was said to have ordered ‘’massive deployment of additional Force personnel   and operational assets within the Abuja metropolis and its environs. The IGP may have taken thebold initiative to flood Abuja, with additional policemen to avoid a repeat of the Kuje Custodial centre and the Presidential Guard which provides security to the President and Abuja, incident.  

The move according to informed security sources   is ‘’to solidify the security and protection of lives and property   at the FCT, critical national assets, and vulnerable facilities as well as road users plying the routes in and around the Seat of power. The Abuja police Command may have gone a step further to raid  the unintended forests and abandoned  infrastructural facilities  within the city  centres and surbubs to flush out the criminal  elements.

Given the pressure on the  Nigerian government both within and  outside the country  to facilitate the release  of the remaining passengers of the Abuja-Kaduna train services still in the custody of the  Ansaru terrorists and Bandits Group  may have informed why Muazu Sambo, minister of Transportation at  the instance of the Nigerian President  had  stopped  the Abuja-Kaduna  rail services  until  all the kidnapped passengers  in the  Abuja-Kaduna train services during the March 28, 2022, attack  were rescued made to reunite with their family members.

 Sambo, the minister of Transportation was said to have taken the decision   to stop the Abuja-Kaduna train services during an inspection visit ‘’to the  Idu  and kubwa train  stations  in Abuja’’.  The minister may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he revealed that the government had concluded arrangement ‘’to deploy advanced technologies to  train services across the country to forestall   similar security  breaches in the future’’, .        

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