5 se­cu­rity is­sues Buhari must end

De­spite mea­sures by the gov­ern­ment to check in­se­cu­rity in the coun­try, the chal­lenge still per­sists.

Weekly Trust - - Front Page - An­thony Ma­liki, Ruby Leo & Ron­ald Mu­tum

Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari’s state­ment to Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May in Lon­don on Mon­day that he was more con­cerned about se­cu­rity is­sues and the econ­omy than his 2019 re­elec­tion bid gen­er­ated up­roar in Nige­ria. This is be­cause in­se­cu­rity has not re­ally been nipped in the bud.

Daily, cases of se­cu­rity chal­lenges are re­ported in var­i­ous parts of the coun­try, mak­ing one to raise eye­brows over the pres­i­dent’s pur­ported ‘con­cern’.

Few weeks ago, a for­mer Chief of Army Staff and Min­is­ter of De­fense, Lieu­tenant-Gen­eral Theophilus Dan­juma (rtd), at the maiden con­vo­ca­tion of the Taraba State Uni­ver­sity Jalingo, stirred the hor­net’s nest when he urged Nige­ri­ans to de­fend them­selves and not to rely on the mil­i­tary as they col­lude with the armed ban­dits to kill peo­ple.

As the coun­try moves closer to the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions, there are se­cu­rity chal­lenges the pres­i­dent needs to not just tackle but also bring to an end this year.

Boko Haram:

Though Boko Haram has ac­tu­ally been de­graded, pock­ets of at­tacks still take place. In a new video on Jan­uary 2, 2018, leader of the sect, Abubakar Shekau, de­nied claims that the group has been de­feated.

Days ear­lier, the group at­tacked the Muna Garage area of Maiduguri killing 25 peo­ple, with pock­ets of other at­tacks around the North-East.

Be­sides, the sect also “em­bar­rassed” the gov­ern­ment with the ab­duc­tion of 110 girls at the Gov­ern­ment Girls Sci­ence and Tech­ni­cal Col­lege, Dapchi in Yobe State, on Fe­bru­ary 19. How­ever, 104 of the girls were later re­leased.

Be­sides, the talks be­tween the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment and Boko Haram on the re­lease of the re­main­ing ab­ducted Chi­bok school­girls suf­fered set­backs. The Se­nior Spe­cial As­sis­tant on Me­dia and Pub­lic­ity to the Pres­i­dent, Malam Garba Shehu, in a state­ment a week ago, quoted Pres­i­dent Buhari has say­ing the break-down of talks was due to lack of agree­ment among the girls’ ab­duc­tors whose in­ter­nal dif­fer­ences had led to di­ver­gent voices re­gard­ing the out­come of the ne­go­ti­a­tions. Some of the girls have been in cap­tiv­ity for four years.

Herder-farmer vi­o­lence:

The prob­lem of herders-farm­ers clashes has not abated since the killing of 73 peo­ple in Guma and Logo lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas of Be­nue State on Jan­uary 1, 2018. There have been con­sis­tent killings mostly in Be­nue, Nasarawa and Taraba states. The crises were ag­gra­vated mainly with the com­mence­ment of the anti-graz­ing law by the Be­nue State Gov­ern­ment on Novem­ber 1, 2017 stop­ping open cat­tle-graz­ing in the state. The crises spilled to other states, with the Miyetti Al­lah Cat­tle Breed­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (MACRAN) say­ing they would re­sist the law.

The crises have not been fully checked even with the launch of a spe­cial mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion tagged “Ayem Ak­pa­tuma.” Four­teen peo­ple were re­cently killed with cat­tle rus­tled in re­newed hos­til­i­ties be­tween herders and farm­ers in vil­lages of Keana, Obi and Awe lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas of Nasarawa State.

In Be­nue State, the Po­lice Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer, Moses Joel Yamu, said four po­lice of­fi­cers were killed on April 15, 2018 in Logo Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area when they came un­der at­tack. Be­sides, the Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary Be­nue State Teach­ing Ser­vice Board, Pro­fes­sor Wil­fred Uji, said 300,000 chil­dren have been forced out of school due to herders-farm­ers cri­sis.

Kid­nap­pings:

Just when it was thought that kid­nap­pings across the coun­try have re­duced, the men­ace resur­faced. In fact, some kid­nap­pers com­mit­ted a “sac­ri­lege” with the ab­duc­tion of the twin chil­dren of Otun Olubadan of Ibadan­land, Oba Lekan Ba­lo­gun and de­manded N100 mil­lion ini­tially as ran­som be­fore it was re­duced to N10 mil­lion. The twins (a boy and girl) were held for a week be­fore they were re­leased.

How­ever, in Kano, kid­nap­pers killed a po­lice­man and ab­ducted a Ger­man, En­gi­neer Michael Cremza, who work for Dan­tata and Sa­woe Con­struc­tion Com­pany.

Not long after that, kid­nap­pers killed a Syr­ian busi­ness­man, Ahmed Abu Areeda and kid­napped his 14-year-old son, Muham­mad, in Kano. The boy was how­ever res­cued days later.

The Syr­ian, who re­cently re­tired, has been in Nige­ria for about 20 years.

In Kaduna State, the Chair­man Na­tional Union of Road Trans­port Work­ers (NURTW) of Birnin Gwari, Malam Audu Kano and six of his ex­ec­u­tive coun­cil mem­bers were ab­ducted. They were trav­el­ling to Zam­fara State for a wed­ding.

How­ever, in Kebbi State, the po­lice ar­rested four sus­pected kid­nap­pers of a Fu­lani leader in the state and re­cov­ered N800, 000. The sus­pects had ear­lier kid­napped and col­lected N500, 000 from an­other vic­tim.

The po­lice in La­gos in Fe­bru­ary also ar­rested six kid­nap sus­pects and re­cov­ered arms cache. They were al­leged to be in­volved in kid­nap­pings in the South-South and south­east­ern parts of the coun­try.

In Katsina, the po­lice com­mand’s spokesman, DSP Gambo Isah, said op­er­a­tives ar­rested four kid­nap sus­pects dressed as women try­ing to abduct a 4-year-old boy. He said they were nabbed with hi­jab and niqab.

Ban­ditry:

The rob­bery of banks in Offa, Kwara State, com­mando-style on April 5 casts a dark chap­ter in the se­cu­rity of lives of cit­i­zens as 20 peo­ple were killed and many in­jured as ban­dits stroke fi­nan­cial houses in the town. Some of the vic­tims were po­lice­men on guard and bank of­fi­cials.

How­ever, few days later, the Force Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer, Ji­moh Mos­hood, said 20 sus­pects have been ar­rested in batches of 8 and 12.

Also, a week ago, 20 peo­ple were killed by ban­dits in Kuru-Kuru and Jarkuka vil­lages in Anka Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Zam­fara State. Two weeks ear­lier, about 30 peo­ple were killed by ban­dits and cat­tle rustlers in Bawar Daji.

How­ever, op­er­a­tives of “Op­er­a­tion Sharar Daji” killed 21 armed ban­dits in a face-off at Tun­gar Daji in the same lo­cal gov­ern­ment area. The ban­dits killed two of­fi­cers in the process. Wor­ried about the spate of killings, the state gov­er­nor, Ab­du­laziz Yari Abubakar, had dur­ing a con­do­lence visit to the Emir of Zam­fara, Al­haji At­tahiru Muham­mad Ah­mad, or­dered se­cu­rity op­er­a­tives to shoot at sight any kid­nap­per and per­son bear­ing il­le­gal firearms.

But the army got the worst of ban­dits’ at­tack in March when 11 sol­diers were killed at Kam­fan in Doka along Fun­tua Road in Birnin Gwari Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of Kaduna State. Some of the sol­diers were on their first mis­sion after their train­ing.

Shi­ite prob­lem:

Even as Pres­i­dent Buhari was con­fer­ring with Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May in Lon­don, Abuja was un­set­tled as po­lice and mem­bers of the Is­lamic Move­ment in Nige­ria (IMN) or Shi­ites clashed as they con­verged at the Unity Foun­tain in Maitama, to protest the con­tin­ued in­car­cer­a­tion of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, since De­cem­ber 2015.

When the clash sub­sided, the Fed­eral Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory (FCT) Po­lice Com­mand said 115 Shi­ite mem­bers were ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the cri­sis. On the other hand, spokesper­son of the FCT Po­lice Com­mand, DSP An­juguri Man­zah, in a state­ment said mem­bers of the group in­jured 22 po­lice­men.

But, IMN spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, said the se­cu­rity per­son­nel caused the com­mo­tion by fir­ing at un­armed pro­test­ers which was col­lab­o­rated in a state­ment by Di­rec­tor, Amnesty In­ter­na­tional in Nige­ria, Dr Osai Ojigho, de­scrib­ing the po­lice ac­tion as “reck­less.”

How­ever, the gov­ern­ment has been do­ing all it can to check these chal­lenges which are still preva­lent. The Chief of Army Staff, Lieu­tenant-Gen­eral Tukur Yusuf Bu­ratai at a de­mon­stra­tion to show­case the ca­pa­bil­ity of the armed forces re­vealed that the mo­bile bri­gade con­cept was in­stru­men­tal to de­feat­ing of Boko Haram.

Cor­rob­o­rat­ing Bu­ratai’s po­si­tion, the Di­rec­tor of De­fense In­for­ma­tion, Bri­gadier-Gen­eral John Agi­mat, at a press brief­ing said other op­er­a­tions have been launched apart from the Op­er­a­tion Lafiya Dole to fight the Boko Haram.

Fur­ther­more, the In­spec­tor Gen­eral of Po­lice, Ibrahim Idris, re­cently said the force has com­menced works on ad­di­tional two train­ing schools in Maiduguri to im­prove the gen­eral se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion in the North­East.

On ban­ditry, the IGP or­dered com­mis­sion­ers to curb the pro­lif­er­a­tion of il­le­gal firearms and am­mu­ni­tion in the coun­try by mop­ping them up. He also or­dered them to en­sure that state gov­ern­ments do not es­tab­lish mili­tias and arm them with il­le­gal weapons.

Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari

Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Y. Bu­ratai

IGP Ibrahim K. Idris

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