By Stephen Ubanna
President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General who is in the United Kingdom, UK, on a two weeks Medical vacation appear to have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he said on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in his Easter message to Nigerians that ‘’the insecurity situation in the country would soon be a thing of the past’’.
The Katsina state born Nigerian President may have convinced that insecurity in the country would be history going by the resolve within the security personnel. Note that the high level of insecurity in the country since 2009 had been necessitated by the activities of the Islamic Fundamentalist group, BokoHaram, and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, in the north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.
This is in addition to the activities of the armed Bandits in the north western states of Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina, Buhari home state and the arms herdsmen in the different parts of the country. Aware of the bold initiative of the Nigerian President and the service Chiefs to tackle headlong the insecurity situation in the country in order to provide an enabling environment for economic activities to thrive in the country, Lawan Ahmad, the Nigerian Senate President has urged Nigerians to support the government efforts in achieving peace for the country.
Appealing to Nigerians to support the Buhari Administration in its efforts to provide security and an enabling environment for economic growth and prosperity, the Senate President who could not hide his feelings said the Lawmakers will continue ‘’to work for the Nigerian people who are involved in Legitimate pursuit of peace’’.
Perhaps to avoid what had happened in the past ten years during Easter Celebrations, where the Bandits, BokoHaram and ISWAP insurgents, as well as other Criminal gangs had taken advantage of it to attack on public buildings and molest passengers on the road, Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, was said to have ordered all the Assistant Inspector Generals of Police , AIGs and State Commissioners of Police to tight up security in their respective Zones and states to avoid giving room to the Criminal elements to str
Adamu, may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he said that the Force will continue to everything within its capacity ‘’to provide safety and security to the teeming Nigerian population’’. The IGP, matching order to the AIGs and state Commissioners of Police to ensure tight security in their respective Zones and stateS may have become necessary because of the situation in the north west states of Zamfara and Kaduna, where the Bandits have resorted to kidnapping of Students for ransom, in the recent time.
It is on record that between 2011 and now, no fewer than 2,619, people had been killed in various attacks by the Bandits in Zamfara state during Festival periods. The Bandits were said to have also kidnapped 1, 190 people from different parts of the state in the last eight years. The news making the rounds was that the Zamfara state government, alone had spent the sum of N970 million to pay ransom to the Bandits to secure the release of those that had fallen into their waiting hands including students.
Many believe that the security agencies personnel , articular, the Nigerian Army and the Air Force have a lot to do in bringing the high level of insecurity in the state that has over 100 Camps and 10, 000 Bandits operating from these Camps and beyond under control.
The argument in both official and unofficial circles is that the flash states lack enough security forces to secure the lives and properties of the people of the states, particular, Zamfara and Kaduna. This may have informed why Bello Matawalle, the Zamfara state governor had bowed to pressure from different quarters in the state to initiate a peace and reconciliation process as well as developing an amnesty program for the Bandits to force them to drop their arms.
Matawalle, the Zamfara state governor may have had at the back of his mind that the practical measures initiated for peace would go a long way to tackle the insecurity challenges in the state but got it wrong. This is because there had been upsurge in occasional attacks and kidnappings in the state that was said to have been masterminded by some entrepreneurs and informants who were said to be conniving with the unrepentant Bandits to sustain the tempo of the attacks in the state to ensure that their illegal gold mining business in the state go on undisturbed as they have the established market in Togo and Niger Republic.
The security challenge in the north east may have claimed a Nigerian Air Force, NAF, Alpha Jet, on a Surveillance mission in the north east state of Borno, which was said to have disappeared from the radar on Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Edward Gabkwet, an Air Commodore, and Director NAF, Public Relations and information had said that ‘’there were two Crew members on board the missing Jet’’.
There are indications that the Alpha Jet may have crashed in an unknown Location killing, both the Pilot and Co-Pilot identified as Flt. FLTs. John Abolarinwa and Ebiakpo Chapele. Given that the whereabouts of the Alpha Jet and the two Crew members remained unknown may have informed why the NAF, surveillance aircraft and special Forces as well as the Nigerian Army personnel who are on ground have intensified their search and rescue operations.
The Air Force Authorities do not want to give room to the IWAP insurgents who have been attacking military bases in Borno state in the recent time to claim responsibility of having shot down the Alpha Jet which will be a big set back to the Counter –insurgency war in the north east.
In spite of the fact there is no clue yet to the whereabouts of the Alpha fighter Jet, Gabkwet, the NAF, spokesperson, is optimistic that that ‘’the Crew would be found and rescued’’.