When the robbery that claimed 33 innocent lives in Offa, Kwara State took place months ago, the residents of that rural town believed they were under warfare attacks.
What announced the evil presence of the, “Leader-boys” populated gang in Offa, were huge (never-experienced-before) explosions, not gunshots. Within a minute, the entire town was seized with just one thought: War (possibly Boko Haram) had arrived! Everyone, in heightened fears, took to their heels in unknown directions!
As they fled in disorientation, Leader-boys (and their co-robbers) sadistically turned them to target practices.
While we wail over the robbery of Cargo holds of moving aircrafts (where no shot is fired), lament area boys attacks on motorists, show outrage at purported Arabic examination questions in Police recruitment examination, properly dissecting the very sad calamities in Offa suddenly became rocket science to our ‘enlightened’ minds?
The deliberate wastage and massacre of 33 lives by a group, armed and emboldened by politically exposed men, became a non-event in our selectively judgemental and jaundice minds.
A clear case of a massacre, resulting from a robbery, executed largely by political thugs of politically exposed men, who were armed by them, and granted immunity to do as they please, became political persecution?
The immunity enjoyed by these thugs naturally emboldened the criminals, to execute these robberies and killings in Offa. Even after the fact of their actions, many actions of the agents of their principals to allegedly tamper with evidences and conceal same, point to them as accomplices after the fact of those robberies and massacres.
These boys said the Offa Operation was not their first mindless killings. They reeled off names of past victims and other executions still in view. Offa was not an accident!
Today, the facts are laid bare! Those that promptly took sides in the matter, out of prejudices, without hearing out the full story, now know they goofed. Even if they apologise, (which they arrogantly never do), it has no bearing on the truth of this case.
The reality is, in every state of Nigeria are dozens of these killer gangs used by politicians to foist terror and maintain their stranglehold on the electorate/polity.
The killing of Pa Rewane, Chief Bola Ige, Funsho Williams and numerous others, were executed by such men. Who does not remember the killer squad led by Sergeant Rogers? Tell me, how hard it would have been for this to pull of robberies?
Nigerians, let us stop politicising evils! The people of Offa, so rural and distant, never imagined themselves as so close to the bizarre consequences of our bad governance. In our myopia, like Offa people, most of us never do also, until these evils birth at our doorsteps.
Fellow Nigerians, so long as things remain as they are, we are all playing Russian roulette with our lives and future. Yesterday, it was Offa, tomorrow it could be anybody! It’s a matter of time…
Now, hear Governor Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari describing his status as chief security officer (CSO) of Zamfara State as a “mere appellation”.
Yari expresses concern that he lacks the power to direct security officers on what to do to safeguard his people.
He urged residents of the state to be more faithful to God and embark on special prayers over the security challenge.
“We have been facing serious security challenges over the years but inspite of being governor and chief security officer of the state, I cannot direct security officers on what to do nor sanction them when they err,” he said.
“As chief security officer, the nomenclature is just a name.”
The governor lamented that it was disheartening that killings in the state had continued in spite of President Muhammadu Buhari’s order to security agencies to end the incessant blood-letting.
He said the state government was spending huge amount of its resources on security but to no avail.
He also appealed to them to be patient and continue to cooperate with the government and security agencies as steps were being taken to address the challenges.
“We cannot keep quiet while our people are being killed daily. We are going to cooperate with all stakeholders to bring the situation to an end,” he said.
Sultan Muhammadu Abubakar III, has in his turn urged government to intensify effort towards addressing security challenges in Zamfara and other parts of the country.
He made the call while paying Sallah homage to Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State at the weekend.
According to him, the number of people killed in recent months in Zamfara State was beyond imagination.
Although he acknowledged some measures so far taken, he said more needed to be done to effectively address the problem.
He also called for fervent prayers for peace to reign in these areas and the country at large.
The outcry is deadening because the death toll is alarming. The lives of our people matter too!
– Aluta Continua