By Suleiman Umaru
Barely two months for President Muhammadu Buhari’s uneventful second term in office to elapse and for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, President –elect, to step in, the rich and the poor have continued to cry for help over the high level of insecurity in the country.
From the north central states of Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina, described as the home state of the bandits group to Nasarawa and Benue, the situation is the same as both the poor now cry for help for fear of being kidnapped for ransom or being killed by unknown gunmen as they are called.
The situation in Borno, which is under the siege of the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHram and the Islamic state of West African Province , ISWAP , appears more pathetic as freedom of movement in the state appears to have been cutyailed by the terrorists.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, President-elect, who is battling the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Labour Party, LP and Action Alliance, AA, Presidential Candidates for the February 25, 2023, Presidential election at the Presidential elect ion Petition Tribunal, PEPT, and the Federal Court of Appeal, on grounds that he did not win the elections, may have been preoccupied with plans to secure his victory in the elections before coming up with measures, which is still a closedly guided secret, to address the security challenges in the country.
Notwithstanding his challenges and the various Court cases against his victory in February 25, Presidential election, Nigerians do not want to know about it. Mathew Kukah, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto,and Itse Sagay, a Professor and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, who are not happy over the heightened insecurity in different parts of the country in the recent time, have asked the incoming Administration of Tinubu, to tackle the high level of insecurity in the country to save life and property.
The Clergyman and and the legal Luminary, would want the former Lagos state governor to come out with plans to confront the security challenges facing the country ranging from banditry in the north western, terrorism insurgency in the north eastern, militancy in the south-south to calls for secession in the south eastern geopolitical regions , This is because the Katsina state born Nigerian President, according to security expert , has failed in his efforts to address the crisis decisively over the last seven years.
The duo may have been encouraged to speak out because of the abduction of Onje Gye-Wado, a Professor and former Deputy governor of Nasarawa, state , who served under Abdullahi Adamu, regime and who incidentally is current National Chairman of APC state in his country home at Gwagi village of Wamba Local government Area of the state on Friday, April 7, 2023.
Ramhan Nansel, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, and the Nasarawa state police Command spokesperson had said that a ‘’search has been initiated by the police tactical team in collaboration with other security agencies personnel to rescue the victim unhurt’’ but that was how far he
The kidnap of the former Nasarawa state Deputy governor has called to question the job of the security agencies in the state. Many see the kidnap of the Nasarawa state born top politician as a dent on the Administration state of Gov. Abdullahi Sule, an Eng the state Chief Security Officer and members of the state security Council, for failing in their duty to protect the citizens. They expect the security agencies personnel deployed to fish out the kidnappers in their hideout and return the Professor to the safety of his home to hasten up efforts to do so.
They noted that the unknown gunmen may have succeeded in whisking the Professor away from hiscountry home without any challenge from the security agencies personnel because he had always used his home and base , from which he moved around the country performing his social and official functions for the APC. The kidnappers may have taken advantage of the lose security in his home town to strike and abduct him for ransom. The Kidnappers were said to have demanded for N70 for his release but the family members were said to have pleaded with N2 million due to the unavailability of cash. The parties were said to have settled or N4 million ransom , which the family paid to get the Prof released.
The recent kidnap of 60 persons from the Kuchri, Wanzamai, and Danwuri, Communities of Zamfara state and Yankra town in Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina, home state of the Nigerian President , who are yet to be rescued may have further enecouraged the duo to speak out.
The incident was said to have happened on Friday, April 8, 2023, the same day that Prof. Gye-wado, a former Deputy governor of Zamfara state was kinapped. The suspected gunmen who were said to have kidnapped the 60 victims, were said to be moving from the Sunbu Forest in Zamfara state to the neighbouring Bienin-Gwari Forest in Kaduna state.
A resident of Kucheri, reportedly said that the gunmen had succeeded in kidnapping that number because they abduct people sighted along their way out of the state as they were fleeing their occupied Forest in the state due to heavy Nigerian AirForc, NAF, bombardment to support the ground troops that was said to have led to the killing of over 100 banditswithin the week.
The Kucheri resident had said that the bandits had picked people they found in the bush fetching firewood, children that were picking local fertilizers, and some that were doing mining work, , noting that they had gathered all of them together and moved them to the Birnin Gwari side of Niger state as the Kaduna state area was a no go area because of the heavy military presence.
Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector General of Police, IGP’s men and the military personnel deployed to confront another Bandits attack in the state may have save the situation may have exhibited enough courage that they were able to restore peace and security in the Tsafe LGA, Community. An eyewitness account said the joint Police and military operations repelled the Bandits from the Tsafe , LGA , Community and killed two of them while others who could not stand the superior fire power of the security agencies personnel were said to have fled into their Forest hidout with bullet wounds. In spite of the fact that Nasarawa, Zamfara and Katsina, may have been in the news in the recent time, over the activities of the Bandits group kidnappers in the three states, another group of the Bandits group, masquerading as herdsmen were said to have attacked an Internal Displaced Person, IDP, camps, at Agan, in the Makurdi Local government Area of Benue state killing many.
Security experts had described what happened in the Agan IDP camps as a kind of ‘’ genocide’’. This is because, the state police Command, has not been able to ascertain the number of people killed.
Sewuese Anene, a DSP, and the state Police Command spokesperson may have given Nigerians a cause to worry when hen he reportedly said that ‘’ many lives at the IDP camps were lost , but the casualty figure is yet to be determined’’. He was quoted as saying that that the Command ‘’Rapid Response team deployed to the scene are already at work’’ and are yet to forward their report to Wale Abasse, the state Commissioner of Police for necessary action.
Note that the attack of the Agan IDP camp, which may have caught Samuel Ortom, the outgoing state governor unawares may have come on the heels of the recent killing in Ugbobi Community of a traditional Ruller in Apa LGA and 46 other persons in Oturkpo, LGA, of the state, including the 33 year-old son of the Chairman, Mrs. Torbunde Kusange .