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Insecurity: Planned Attack On Gov. Ortom Puts Nigeria Security Chiefs On Their Toes

By Lateef Adegbite

 When Samuel ortom, a former minister of Trade and Industries, during the Administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, of the Opposition People’s Democraatic Party, PDP,  and now governor of Benue state, north central Geo-political region, called on the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, who incidentally is a retired  army General to act now before it is too late to track and arrest the suspected  armed herdsmen at Tyo- Mu, along the Makurdi –Gboko road who had at on Saturday, March 20, 2021, the Katsina state born Nigerian President became convinced that all is not well in the country.

He was said to have directed Mohammed Adamu, the  Inspector  General of Police, IGP, to send a Crack team of Investigators to the state immediately  to fish out the culprits for Prosecution as a deterrence to others. Acting on the Presidential directive, the IGP, was said to have deployed a high level team of Crack Investigators from the Force Criminal Investigations Department, FCID, , Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to Markurdi, the Benue state Capital,’’ to start the investigation process.  

damu: IGP, Sets Up Investigation Team To Unravel Ortom’s Attackers,

 Not many people were surprised that the Nigerian President took the Ortom’s advice   serious  to avoid throwing the country into country into chaos as temper had  reached feverish height  in the state.t The Benue state governor had earlier urged  the retired army Generneral to do use his powers to  fish out the Criminals who he had said  are ‘’living  in the forest  between Markurdi  and Abinse ‘’, noting ‘’they run  across the river   in the state  and  equally run out  when ‘’they want  to Commit atrocities-rape women, kill or main innocent people’’, insisting that  ‘’they should be  made to face  the full wrath of the Law’’.

Given the importance attached to the case,  Adamu, the IGP,  had said that  the Abuja based Crack detectives  will work closely with the local  Investigations team   that had been set  up by Bishi Omololu, the state Commissioner of Police.  The Police Commissioner, according to Frank Mbah, a Deputy Commissioner of Police  , had directed  the north central state Police boss, ‘’to carry out   a thorough  investigations  to the planned  attack on the  governor  by the suspected armed herdsmen  and ensure the arrest of the Criminal elements and the Prosecution of  persons   indicted  in the course of the Investigations’’.

The governor may have given a clue  to the FCID, Crack detectives on how to get the armed  herdsmen attackers who were said to be 15 in number . he had confirmed  that they trailed  him to the river bank where he was on foot with the intention  ‘’to eliminate him in his own Land’’. He was said to have pointed accusing finger on the Leadership of Miyeti Cattle Breders Association of Nigeria,  MACBAN, for coming out to target him  behind the scene at their recent  meeting at Yola, Capital of Taraba, home state of Theophilous Danjuma, a retired army General and former minister of Defence, during the Administration of erstwhile President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Gov.Ortom: Attacked By Suspected Armed Herdsmen

It is instructive to note that the Nigeria President may have won the heart of Ortom and the people of the Benue over the ongoing investigations of attack on him by suspected  armed herdsmen. Appaling to the IGP, that’’there should be a transparent  investigation into the incident and that whoever  is linked  to the attack on him  should be arrested  and be made  to face the Law, he opined that it is the only way the report of the FCID, investigations team will enjoy widespread support.

The attack on the Benue state governor by the suspected herdsmen   may have put the security Chiefs on their toes as  Bashir Magashi, a retired army Major General , had said that Nigeria is in a ‘’critical situation’’. The minister who spoke during  at a national  security and defence summit  at the National Defence College on Monday, March 22, 2021, had   cited   the insurgency in the north eastern states of Adamawa, Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the PDP, in the 2019, Presidential elections home state, Borno and Yobe.

Thi is in addition to the Banditry in the north western states of Zamfara, which had been declared as a No Fly Zone, by the Nigeria President as a way to contain the activities of the Bandits in the area, Katsina, Buhari home state and Kaduna,  where Nasir El-Rufai, the state governor and Samuel Aruwan, the Commissioner For Internal and Home Affairs as well as the security Operatives are still battling to secure the release  of the 39 students of the  Federal College  of Forestry Mechanisation , Afaka in Igabi Local government  area  which could be assessed   from the Mando –Kaduna Airport road.

The minister who could not hide his feelings had said that the security situation in the country now requires’’the understanding, buy-in, support and collaboration of all stakeholders  and other key players  in the national task,  stressing the imperative of adopting kinetic measures to address the security Challenges .

Worried that the high level of insecurity in the country has both forward and backward linkages to different shades of national security  which may lead ‘’to political instability, economic under-development and social inequalities’’, the minister had called for support from the Civilian populace  and other major stakeholders to restore normalcy in the country.

Going down  the memory lane,  he had said that  that the country has  been battling  insurgency in the north east states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe ,  for more than a decade, noting that over 36,000 people  had been  killed and thousands of other people displaced in their homes.

Magashi: Minister Of Defence

  An aggrieved Magashi   had   said that  the Islamic state of West African Province, ISWAP, a splinter group of the Islamic Fundamentalist group, BokoHaram, whose fighters had dominated the lake  Chad region, which borders Nigeria, Chad,  Niger and Cameroon,  has become a major threat to the country, attacking troops  and military bases in Borno and Yobe  states .

 He noted that the ISWAP fighters have also been involved in kidnapping passengers at bogus military checkpoints in the two north east states. He had cited the March Ist, 2021, attack in Dikwa Local government area in which the IWAP, fighters had ‘’burnt down  a United Nation’s Humanitarian  Compound in Dikwa, the Local government Area , Headquarters’.

He was said to have rationalized the establishment of the Multi-national Joint Task Force, MNJTF, which is a regional military Coalition, to fight  the insurgency in the north east states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, which  has spread  to the West African countries   of Chad and, Niger, including the Central African country of Cameroon. 

The recent Controversy surrounding the spending of the $1billion arms fund for the purchase of arms, ammunitions  and other related  hardware  for the security agencies , including its use and control, may have informed why the  House of Representatives ad-hoc Committee on Security had invited Godwin Emefiele, the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and Ibrahim Atthahiru, a Lt. General and Chief of Army  Staff, CAS, to appear before it in April, to shed more light relating to the purchase of the arms and ammunitions.

The raging storm over the spending of the spending of the $1 billion, arms fund,  may  have forced the Authorities  to come out with an  information  that six of  the 12 Tucano fighter aircrafts purchased with part of the arms fund  will be delivered in mid- July 2021, while the remaining six, will be delivered  shortly after.

 Garba Shehu, a Senior Special Assistant , SSA, to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity,  had tweeted last Thursday that the optimism  for the supply of the fighter aircrafts was informed by the fact  that the North American country of the United States  government   had in 2018 awarded  a $329million  Foreign Military Sales Contract,  to  build the 12 A-29s , Tucano aircrafts  for the Nigerian Air Force. Given an insider information on the extent of work done on the fighter  aircrafts,  he disclosed that they  have come off the production line in Jackson ville Florida and are now being equipped  and flight tested. He  further disclosed that   there  are already fourteen Nigerian Air Force pilots currently being  trained  at Moody Air Force base in Georgia, a City in the US, an indication that the BokoHaram and ISWAP, fighters are introuble.

 Moreso,pressure are also on  Buhari, the retired  army General  to follow up the discussions with the United Arab Emirate, UAE, government from where Magashi, the minister of Defence, who had initiated  talks on the matter with the country’s Ambassador to Nigeria to facilitate  the release of the detained Nigerian  arms, ammunition and other related hardwares that had alrady been purchased to  the Counter-terrorism war and Banditry in the north eastern  regions of the country.

Lt.Gen. Attahiru: CAS

 Until the detained  arms and ammunition  are released  from UAE, Lt. General Atthahiru led Nigerian soldiers will continue to complain of dearth of weapons to prosecute the insurgency war in the north east and or effectively deal with the Bandits in the north west states.      

Stephen Ubanna

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