‘FG must take tough decisions to resolve Nigeria’s security crisis’ – Analyst

President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to take tough decisions to end the high level of insecurity in the country, particularly in parts of the North. Some concerned Nigerians, who spoke to Newsmen, said the rate at which Nigerians lose their lives to bandits paints a picture of a nation without leadership.

A Public Affairs analyst and lawyer, Idowu Omolegan, blamed the Buhari administration and security agencies for not doing enough to stem the killings despite the availability of enough intelligence at their disposal, urging them to take decisive action to end the scourge.

The situation has also descended to a new low that continues to threaten the unity and sovereignty of Nigeria.

Apart from Boko Haram insurgency, increased attacks on worshippers, travellers and kidnapping by suspected Fulani herdsmen, terrorists and other criminal groups is leaving tales of anguish in the mouths of Nigerians.

Thousands of lives have been lost, with many families displaced, many children turned orphans. Last Wednesday, members of the North/South Alliance staged a demonstration in Abuja on the escalating insecurity in the northern part of the country.

Tagged: ‘#NorthisBleeding,’ the protesters brandished placards with various inscriptions against President Muhammadu Buhari.

The protesters complained that “Northern Nigeria is bleeding; Buhari is sleeping.” Recently, the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) and its Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, (TUC), warned that Nigeria cannot solve its security challenges with the alarming rate of unemployment, especially among the youths across the country.

The unions called on the Federal Government to do all within its powers to address the high rate of unemployment in the country to have any chance of addressing the insecurity and bring about a peaceful nation, warning that Nigeria was sitting on a time bomb, with the armies of jobless youths across the country.

Although the vicious attacks on local communities and kidnapping of people by criminal groups in the region is being described by state officials as banditry, experts say that further evidence suggests that the government is simplifying the dynamics and was not doing enough to curtail the situation.

They say that in actuality, Northern Nigeria has become the safe haven of increasingly active terrorist groups, including the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara; Al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb; a splinter of Boko Haram popularly referred to as the Islamic State in West Africa once rated the fourth-deadliest terror group in the world.

Recall that, penultimate Friday, gunmen attacked a rural village in Northern Nigeria, in Niger State, killing 16 worshippers at a mosque and kidnapping others, according to a local official.

Recently, it was confirmed that 23 travellers were slain in different parts of Sokoto State. Also, last week, a member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Rilwanu Gadagau was killed by terrorists. Gadagau’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Ibrahim Danfulan made the announcement in a statement.

Presently, it appears there is no hope in sight; promises made by the head of security agencies to halt the killings appear to be a mirage.

Observers say that Nigeria’s security forces are already overstretched as they have been fighting Islamic extremists in the North for more than a decade and called for more armed men to be deployed to various states in the North.

In many remote communities in Northern Nigeria, the armed groups often outnumber and outgun the security forces.

Recently, a coalition of Northern youth groups under the aegis of Northern Ethnic Group Assembly, (NEYGA) condemned the killing of travellers by bandits in Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto. The spokesperson of the group, Ibrahim Dan-Musa, said it was one attack that cannot be forgotten in a hurry, lamenting that Nigeria has been turned into a killing field by terrorists terrorising the country.

He also noted the apprehension in Sokoto East, saying, “Sabon Birni, Isa, Goronyo, Illela and Wurno LGAs in the eastern part of Sokoto State are now under the control of a notorious bandit called Bello Turji, who was dislodged by recent military operations in Zamfara State. His gang has been terrorising these parts of the State and is responsible for the recent burning to death of 42 passengers in Gidan Bawa and more”.

According to him, “Residents of these areas come under constant attacks by armed bandits, their markets and schools remain closed and farmers are scared off their farms.

Bandits change the village heads and impose taxes on the villagers. There is a mass exodus of refugees into the neighbouring Niger Republic.

In Sabon-Birni, residents say that only about 20 lightly armed soldiers were sent to fight more than 300 heavily armed bandits and that these soldiers stayed for a short time leaving them to endure lethal reprisal attacks by these bandits.

In Kaduna State, the news is equally as depressing, with the recent killing of a Pastor and innocent citizens in the rural areas. Kaduna-Abuja highway has now become a highway to hell due to abductions by bandits.

Zamfara State, the epicentre of banditry, has not seen any respite from bandit attacks who control major highways and villages operating unchecked”, he stated.

Recall that Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal had recently blamed the escalation of attacks in his state on an uncoordinated attack by the military against the bandits without carrying along the State governments.

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