Terrorism and Armed Banditry Getting Worse – Buhari

By Stephen Ubanna

President Muhammadu Buhari  appears to have agreed with the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, that terrorism  in the north east,  armed  Banditry and kidnapping in the west and other parts of the country have assumed  grave dimensions in the country going by  the speech  he delivered at  the 14th Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Countries. OIC,  in  Makkah, Saudi Arabia on Saturday, June 1, 2019.

He had used the opportunity provided by the OIC  meeting  to speak about Nigeria  security challenges. ”We now grapple   with serious  security  problems,  presented by destructive  activities of  terrorists, violent extremists and armed Bandits , which is applicable in many  OIC member  countries.

H e noted  that the situation  has been compounded   by  a series of political crises , which had continued to affect  some member countries.  It is not surprsing why the Katsina state born Nigerian President  supports the  various interventionist efforts by the  OIC,  in resolving  the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya ,  expected to control the smuggling of arms into the country which fall into the waiting of the terrorists and other criminal elements in the country and other African  OIC member countries in crises.

Appealing to the OIC member countries that the Nigerian situation  requires a   serious and Coordinated  approach,  he stated that it is the only a lasting solutions could be found to the Nigerian problem. There are indications that Salman bin   Abdullaziz Saud,   the Saudi Arabian King who has picked interest on Buhari  because of his Commitment to the OIC, may  accede to his  financial request  to procure more equipment to sustain the  war against the  Insurgents.

  Note that the President had said during his one-day   working visit to  Borno  last May    that ”expansion of education facilities  in the state  was the best response  the Insurgents action to stifle education , especially that of the girl-child. The President  who could not hide his feelings    mintains that   that ”education is the only wise response  to counter  Boko- Haram Insurgency in the north east.

But Tukur  Buratai,  a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff, had blamed the sustenance of the  terrorists operations  in the north east to the Non Governmental  Organisations, NGOs,  which had been providing  ”humanitarian  support” of food and drug supplies  them.  Buratai was emphatic  that the war against  terrorists  is being sabotaged  by the  NGOs  operating in the region.

While the Nigerian  President was in far away  Saudi Arabia soliciting for the support of the  OIC member countries  to fight the terrorists and the armed Bandits operating  in the northern part of the country,  the  Islamic  Fundamentalists, popular BokoHaram  attacked  a Mosque  in Sajeri village, at the outskirts of Maiduguri, the Borno state Capital.

Eyewitness  account  said the Insurgents  had opened fire  on the Worshippers who were observing their prayers ,injuring scores of them, thus sending a signal to the President that they are back to the trenches . Babagana Umara,,   a Professor and  the state governor, who was just  sworn in about  four days ago ,did not wait  to get security reports about the incident  was said  to have visited the Community to see things himself.     

Prof. Babagana Umara: Governor Of Borno state

He had condoled the victims , assuring  that the government would do everything within its powers to beef security in  the Community. Security experts see the attack on a Mosque in Sajeri village by the Insurgents  as welcome party to Umara, the All Progressive governor , APC, governor, who has given assurance that the priority of his Administration would be to give priority to address   the ”root cause of  BokoHaram Insurgency in the region”. The Professor opined that it is  only by addressing the root cause of the problem   that the decade  old crisis  could be finally put to rest.

  Note that for the eight year years, that  Kashim Ibrahim Shettima, ruled the state ,  it was in pains because of consistent  attack  on flashpoint   Communities by the Insurgents  including kidnap  of Chibok girls.  the Kidnap of the Chibokk girls  was said to have   brought Hadiza Bala Usman, the current, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, to limelight as she  had teamed up with Oby Ezekwesili, a minister in former  President Olusegun Obasanjo Administration, to float an NGO, ”Bring Back Our Girls”, to champion the cause for the release of the kidnapped Chibok secondary school girls.

The security situation in the state was so  bad that Shettima, the former Borno state governor was forced  to lead some  elders of the state to the Presidential Villa to plead with the President  to intervene  before the Insurgents retake  over  Kukawa local government area which  was lost to the  them   between 2013 and 2014 but liberated by the military in 2015.  The visit may have  encouraged  the President to reassure the governor and the elders of the state  of his resolve to  equip the military   to overcome  the Insurgency in the north east.

They had left the Presidential villa,  with a message  about what the President had said that  the collective  safety  and security of the people of the state  would continue  to remain  paramount  in the Administration’s strategy  to restore peace and stability  in the state and the north east geo-political region in general.

He had boasted  then that  as Commander In-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, he would raise the standard  of the military   and get the resources  to encourage them  to do better than they  are doing now. But that was how far   he could go  as the Insurgents  are still making incursions into the outskirts of Maiduguri with the  intention to enter the city

 At present,  Maiduguri, the state Capital   appears to be the only   major town in the state   that is safe because of the tight security provided by the soldiers and  members of the Multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF, which has an operational base  the city..  The Insurgents   were said to have  made several attempts in the past  to penetrate the city but were thwarted by the soldiers  forcing them to flee.

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