INSECURITY has shoved the poor economy aside to occupy the top spot on the priority list of Nigerians, as violent crimes threaten to overwhelm the country.
After the general elections, the murderous herdsmen are back in full force.
The “bandits” that had held Zamfara State by the jugular have spread their mayhem into adjoining Niger, Kaduna and Katsina states, and the fringes of Sokoto State, though the Army insists they are fleeing from the ongoing “Operation Scorpion Sting III” in Zamfara State.
Kidnappers have also taken the centre stage, particularly in the North where they have forced the elite and commoners alike off the major highways, thus leading to crowded railway stations between Abuja and Kaduna.
A major affront to President Muhammadu Buhari was the abduction of a District Head in Daura, Katsina State, Alhaji Musa Uba, who is also the President’s in-law.
The Acting Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Adamu, after attending a meeting of Northern Traditional Rulers Council in Kaduna on April 30, 2019, disclosed that violent crimes have already claimed the lives of 1,071 Nigerians in 2019. Of these, 767 deaths occurred in the North. Zamfara alone recorded 203 deaths. The number should be far more, as many incidents are usually not reported.
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Nigerians were dismayed when President Buhari returned from his ten-day “private visit” to the UK and gave an unsatisfactory answer when newsmen asked him: “Are we likely to see a different approach in the fight against insecurity, especially kidnapping, which is a big issue now?”. He reportedly answered: “You know, I have just seen the IG, he is…I think he is losing weight, so I think he is working very hard”.
This response to an unfolding emergency situation is quite disappointing. Nigerians, at this moment, need to be reassured that as the President prepares for his second tenure, he has credible solutions to the twin evils that currently assail the country and its people: poverty and insecurity.
We call on President Buhari to live up to his promise in his inaugural address in 2015, that he would “lead from the front” in the war against Boko Haram and general insecurity in the country. The situation now is far worse than it was four years ago.
We strongly believe that a comprehensive overhaul of the security set-up is needed at this time to arrest the unsavoury situation. The states and the various communities should be accommodated in a massive push to flush out the armed herdsmen, “bandits”, kidnappers, and of course insurgents.
Without this Nigeria risks total anarchy.