No doubt, one of the sore points of the administration and what is probably giving President Muhammadu Buhari sleepless nights is the issue of insecurity ravaging all parts of the country.
Sadly, every region in the country today is experiencing one security challenge or the other. Bandits are the chief culprits in the insecurity in the country.
Every day the media space is awash with stories of bandits killing or kidnapping in the northwest of north-central. In some states like Sokoto, Niger, and Katsina, the bandits have started imposing taxes on some villages called harvest levies to enable the farmers to harvest their crops.
Despite the gains made by security forces against criminal elements in parts of the country, bandits wreaked havoc on Nigerians, killing 454 victims and kidnapping 1,239 others from their homes, on the roads, schools, churches, and farms in the last five months.
The latest notable incident was the attack and killing of former Zamfara State governorship aspirant, Sagir Hamid, a former director with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and the kidnapping of an unspecified number of travelers by bandits on the Kaduna-Abuja highway on Sunday.
LEADERSHIP investigations show that between July and November, about 935 victims were abducted in Kaduna State alone while other states across the country recorded pockets of kidnappings, too.
investigations also showed that over 454 innocent lives were lost in the period under review while about 91 bandits and kidnappers were also killed.
However, the Defence Headquarters (DHQ) revealed that 996 Boko Haram /Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists surrendered to troops while 258 terrorists operating in the North-East and North-West geopolitical zones were neutralized by Nigerian forces, in the last two weeks.
The Kaduna State commissioner for internal security and home affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said at least 830 persons were kidnapped and 343 killed by bandits in Kaduna between July and September 2021, while our investigations showed that, in October, 105 persons were abducted, bringing the total number of abducted victims to 935 persons. Aruwan said 69 bandits were killed by troops of the Nigerian Army within the period in the state.
Indeed, they have been calls for the federal government to declare the bandit’s terrorists to enable the military to crush them. That call was finally answered during the week as a Federal High Court in Abuja had declared bandits anywhere in the country as terrorists.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo, ruling on an ex parte motion filed by the Federal Government, said groups, such as Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda are nothing other than terrorists.
Reacting to the court’s verdict, minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami said the government would now deal ruthlessly with all terrorist groups and their sponsors to bring a lasting solution to the nation’s security challenges.
“The development is a pointer to the commitment of the Federal Government to adhere to the international standards in respecting the rules of engagement in the fight against terrorism, separatists organizations, insurgency, and banditry in the country,” he said.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari has given marching orders to the security chiefs saying they must not rest until all Nigerians are at rest.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, stated this on Thursday at the end of the National Security Council (NSC) meeting presided over by President Buhari at the Presidential Villa.
According to him, the President after receiving the briefs from all security chiefs appreciated the successes and gains recorded by all of them.
He said the President ordered the armed forces and other security agencies, intelligence organizations, not to rest on their oars, notwithstanding the progress and efforts being made to eliminate insurgency, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, and all the other criminalities
He said “He (President Buhari) believes that more must and should still be done. But he commended all of them for the progress we are recording on all fronts.”
“The president said that we are not yet where we should be. That Nigerians deserve to live in peace. And that until we achieved that we will not rest.”