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KILLING FIELDS: We can’t afford to lose 34 persons daily, 12,370 yearly to insecurity — Ikokwu, Agbakoba, Okorie, Osuntokun, Shonibare, others speak

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…Nigeria records 358 deaths in 11 days

By Clifford Ndujihe

A host of eminent Nigerians have decried the dangerous trend the wave of insecurity has taken in Nigeria and urged decisive actions to halt the trend.

Reacting to Vanguard’s exclusive report, last Monday, which showed that from reported cases no fewer than 1,525 people were lost to insecurity in the first two weeks of 2021, the eminent Nigerians lamented that the figure is humongous.

The figure shows that every day Nigeria loses 34 persons to insecurity and if the trend remained the country may lose 12,370 persons by the end of 2021.

Indeed, the country has lost no fewer than 358 persons between February 15 and February 24, Sunday Vanguard’s tally of reported cases showed.

Eminent Nigerians who decried the trend and proffered solutions to the debilitating insecurity snarl include Elder statesman and the Second Republic politician, Chief Guy Ikokwu; former Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, President, Dr Olisa Agbakoba; a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Chekwas Okorie; National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Chief Supo Shonibare; former Presidential Aspirant and APC chieftain, Chief Mumakai Unaga; Mr Akin Osuntokun, former Political Adviser to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

We’re faced with peaceful restructuring or implosion —Ikokwu

Quoting Robert F. Kennedy, said: ‘Every time we turn our heads the other way when we see the law flouted, when we tolerate what we know to be wrong, when we close our eyes and ears to the corrupt because we are too busy or too frightened when we fail to speak up and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom, decency and justice,’ Ikokwu said Nigerians must do the needful urgently to avoid imminent disaster.

Also read: KILLING FIELDS: Violence kills 2,771 Nigerians in five months

Ikokwu said: ‘’Security of lives and properties in our clime and ethnic? nationalities are the existential precepts and rights of all peoples worldwide. It was recognized in the British Magna Carter, the French Revolution, the Bill of Rights in the United States of America and by the United Nations. The ICC Commission in Hague Europe was set up as a World Court to arrest, try and punish officials and citizens of countries who commit crimes against humanity like extrajudicial killings. Even in times of war, there are systemic rules of engagement the defiance of which are punishable and there institutions like Amnesty International with very credible members who monitor the engagements.

“These and other credible media and activist organizations monitor and report any infringements in countries and areas of conflict in countries defying the above rules of law and democratic norms. Nigeria in the periods after the Civil War has been under the watchful eyes and investigations of the outside World and the gruesome insecurities and killing pandemic all over Nigeria have been documented internally and externally identifying those responsible for such acts of impunity and disdain for such lawlessness and killings which should not go unnoticed and unpunished. Such depravity has had a terrible effect on the developmental capabilities of Nigeria in all ramifications.

It is a comatose and egregious situation that must be remedied by a reversal of our existential precepts and template for the continued existence of the Nigerian Union of over 300 Ethnic nationalities and diverse religions cultures and standards of morality and education. It is either we peacefully dissolve, reorganize or Restructure our existential template in order to reverse the Inanities which have wrecked the country,”

Govt radicalized the crisis —Osuntokun

Also speaking, Osuntokun said: “The signal I can decipher is that for whatever reason, the government has chosen to radicalise rather than alleviate the crisis. A responsive government would have seized the opportunity presented by the replacement at the EFCC, civil defence corp, prisons to redress the yawning lopsided appointments gap, especially in the security sector. In the circumstance, it now devolves on Nigerians to continue to reach out to one another. The tragedy is that for such initiatives to stand a chance of success, the president has to buy into the effort.”

Security architecture needs an overhaul — Agbakoba

Dr Agbakoba canvassed overhauling of Nigeria’s security system to address the issue.

“We need to overhaul the security architecture to resolve this unfortunate issue now acknowledged by government and my contribution is to suggest a review of military doctrine to take into account that we are engaged in irregular war and conventional strategy now in place may need review. Lessons from Ho Chi Mi in North Vietnam and Che Guevara in Bolivia and Cuba will help,” he said.

We need State police, restructuring — Shonibare

in like manner, Shonibare said: “We have been advocating for the Restructuring of our security architecture to be more representative of the various catchment areas residents within the Federation. The Federal government does not have the capacity or manpower resources to deploy to enable this increasingly seemingly uncontrollable state of insecurity abated.

We need State and Local Government Police to be the first point of resistance to these security challenges. The Federal Police should be complimentary, in instances of incapacity of a State, when invited by the State Governor.

Apart from the President’s inertia, the National Assembly too cannot absolve itself from the responsibility of preferring a panacea. It is the body responsible for exercising legislative functions of government. Creating State Police entails amending our incurable defective Constitution in parts that can address that emergency security imperative. We are sliding towards justifiable but uncoordinated self-help cells, which will inevitably entail the proliferation of even more firearms all over the Country.

“It’s unfortunate that the National Assembly cannot introduce a bill for State Police, in concerto with States.

“A State Police in my view should be devoid of any political influence. There should be a Police Service Commission at the State & Local government level. It’s should be comprised of a nominee from the State Bar Association( NBA), a nominee from the State National Medical Association( NMA), a nominee from the State of a member from the Islamic Affairs Council, a nominee from the State of the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Attorney- General of the State, a retired Senior Police Officer of not less than the rank of a Commissioner of Police, with a retired Judge from the State as Chairman.

This will need to be replicated at the Local Government level. The Police Commission will be responsible for recruitment, a supervisory role for training, confirmations of promotions from the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police, operational oversight and disciplinary responsibility of the Police. The Police Commissioner in the State shall have the responsibility for operational decisions & strategy. The buck must stop at his table, with regard to operations of the Police in the State.

“The functions of the State Legislature will be screening and confirmation of nominees, as well as oversight functions. The Governor would also perform oversight functions, as well as allocation and provision of funds. The Governor not being responsible for operational functions will remove the sceptre of political influences, as far as possible, on police. Without completely devolving the security architecture, I am afraid our security challenges will continue to deteriorate.”

Nigeria’s in a state of war —Chekwas Okorie

To Chekwas Okorie, “The spate of killing of defenceless Nigerians, wanton destruction of property across the country and the displacement of millions of citizens from places they were originally domiciled point to the fact that Nigeria is unarguably in a state of war. President Muhammadu Buhari admitted as much when he deployed the new Service Chiefs to their offices.

“Two discernible aspects of the raging war can be isolated. The external invasion represented by the heavily armed foreign herdsmen and the Boko Haram Islamic Army with the openly stated agenda of Islamizing Nigeria. Added to this is the unprecedented widespread activities of bandits, kidnappers and armed robbers.

The aspects of the foreign invasion of Nigeria and the religious war waged by Boko Haram and its allies fall within the purview of the Nigerian Armed Forces. Defending Nigeria’s territorial integrity should be total. Nothing should be spared in terms of highly motivated and mobile armed forces with superior firepower and technology to defeat the enemy forces. On the other hand, the internal insecurity ravaging every nook and cranny of the Country is the primary responsibility of a properly structured Nigeria Police and allied Security Agencies. Nigeria is too large in terms of space and population to be effectively and efficiently policed by a central police command.

I align with all well-meaning Nigerians who have recommended the establishment of State and Community police Systems to operate in collaboration with Federal Police as is the best practice in democratic nations. The National Assembly must prioritise the amendment of the Nigerian Constitution to usher in a restructured Nigeria Police architecture. It is not enough for them to move a motion urging President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on the security situation in Nigeria.”

Also speaking, Mumakai said: “The security challenges in this country has no doubt been a major concern to all including my very self. I keep asking, at what point in time did we get it wrong that we no longer value human lives. Nigeria as a nation has turned into a theatre ground where Human beings are wasted and slaughtered without looking back.

“The security challenges befalling the nation, particularly in the Northern region, Northern leaders especially the elites should be held responsible. They were the ones using those youths from the Niger Republic. Chad and Mali for election and now it has backfired.

“Unless urgent steps are taken, the situation will be worse in the nearest future. Most of these herdsmen and bandits have not seen the four walls of either primary school let alone secondary. They carry out orders by their instructors or leaders. There is an agenda which the Fulani herdsmen and bandits have not disclosed but I’m optimistic that in no distant time, they will unfold it especially with the comment made by the governor of Bauchi State. This goes to show that there is an agenda to be carried out. My only regret is the huge investment of Southerners in the North. I can recall, when Boko Haram just started, some of the Northern leaders were in support, thinking that it would be to their advantage. Now it is a different ball game.

“Some persons in certain quarters have suggested that every Nigerian should be allowed to carry arms, others suggested that the country be restructured, etc.

These arguments are in order but to me, the immediate solution we need is restructuring. The restructuring should not be merely state police but total such that there can be easy monitoring of movements. As it is now, the country is very loose. You wouldn’t know who is Mr Black or White. On a very critical note, the free movement policy of West Africa states should be revisited and reviewed.

It has caused much damage rather than good. Several wanted criminals in other countries have found their ways into Nigeria unquestioned because of the policy. I saw it coming 10 years ago when I raised an alarm that our borders are too loose. You see different people moving into the country without valid documents. I can tell you that most of these bandits are mainly from neighbouring countries.”

Also read: Eritrean troops killed ‘hundreds’ in Ethiopia massacre — Amnesty

Timeline of killings from February 14

February 14: Gunmen killed one police officer at a church in Ughelli North, Delta.

February 14: Kidnappers killed three and abducted 30 in Rafi, Niger State.

February 14: Herdsmen killed four in Bassa, Plateau.

February 14: Nigerian troops killed 81 Boko Haram militants in Sambisa forest and lost one soldier to a landmine in Gwoza, Borno.

February 14: Herdsmen killed four in Egbado North, Ogun.

February 15: Gunmen killed a businessman in Aba, Abia State and collected his sack-load of money.

February 15: A man stabbed his brother to death at Ughoton community, Okpe LGA of Delta State

February 15: Four youths were killed by suspected herdsmen at Rikwechongo and Zirshe villages of irigwe chiefdom, Bassa LGA, Plateau State.

February 15: Gunmen suspected to be cultists killed a female Benue State University at her Gyado villa residence adjacent to the university.

February 15: A man stabbed his wife to death over alleged infidelity in Remo Ogun State

February 15: Seven children were killed by a leftover explosive device in Maradun, Zamfara.

February 15: Boko Haram killed 10 Nigerian soldiers in Marte, Borno.

* February 15: Herdsmen attacked Oke- Akanni and Oke-Imala villages in Ogun State and killed eight persons.

February 16: Bandits killed 11 in Rafi, Niger State including the village head and kidnapped 20.

February 16: Boko Haram killed five police officers and two civilians in Bursari, Yobe.

February 16: Suspected cultists killed six children in Idemili North, Anambra.

February 16: Nigerian troops killed two Boko Haram militants in Bursari, Yobe.

February 17: ISWAP killed four policemen and seven villagers at Bayamani, Yobe State.

February 17: Gunmen killed one and kidnapped 42 at a school in Rafi, Niger State.

February 17: Nigerian troops killed “several” (estimated at 10) bandits who kidnapped four in Birnin-Gwari, Kaduna.

February 17: Suspected herdsmen killed seven in Ovia North-East, Edo.

February 17: Gunmen killed one and kidnapped 30 in Shiroro, Niger State.

February 17: A housewife killed her husband with a plank for allegedly receiving a phone from another woman in Omotosho, Okitipupa LGA, Ondo State.

Also read: Niger Delta militants return, vow to destroy all infrastructure in Lagos, Abuja

* A vigilante operative stabbed a man to death at Otokutu community, Ughelli South LGA, Delta State.

February 17: No fewer than seven soldiers attached to the 153 Task Force Battalion, Marte LGA of Borno State were killed by Boko Haram

February 18: Kidnappers abducted 17 in Faskari, Katsina.

* February 18: Gunmen killed two persons at Sedeco, Uvwie LGA, Delta State

February 19: Boko Haram killed “many” (estimated at 20) civilians in Dikwa, Borno.

February 19: Gunmen killed one and kidnapped “several” (estimated at 10) in Rafi, Niger State.

February 19: Four were killed during protests in Billiri, Gombe.

* February 19: A man stabbed his sleeping Neighbour to death for abusing his wife at Messiah School street, Akure, Ondo State.

February 20: Gunmen kill Okiemute Sowho, special adviser to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State

* February 20: A cult clash at Agwa Secondary School, Oguta LGA, Imo State claimed the life of a 23-year old man, Tobechi Duru

February 21: Two persons including a butcher was assassinated at Shell Road end of Sapele, Delta

February 21: Six people were killed, one injured and many abducted when bandits attacked some communities in Kajuru LGA and Igabi LGA of Kaduna State.

* February 21: Bandits invaded Baka in Igabi LGA , Kaduna killed two persons and abducted many

* February 21: A man stabbed his Neighbour to death in Mafoluku, Oshodi, Lagos

* February 21: Cultists killed a bricklayer at his residence at Utagba-Uno Street, Kwale, Ndokwa West LGA, Delta State.

February 22: Gunmen killed a police inspector after setting a police vehicle ablaze in Essien Udim LGA of Akwa Ibom.
February 22: A husband was stabbed to death by his wife’s lover at Umuna, Orlu LGA, IMO
February 23: Hoodlums killed two policemen in Essien Udim LGA of Akwa Ibom and carted away three rifles.
February 23: No fewer than three persons have been killed by gunmen suspected to be bandits in Sabuwa Local Government Area of Katsina state. The bandits kidnapped nine other persons including women and young girls, in the attack launched on three communities of Mai Bakko, Kawarawa, and Unguwar Bako.

February 23: One dead, others injured as suspected cultists clashed in Lagos Mainland, Lagos.

February 23: Boko Haram attacked Maiduguri with rockets killing 16 and injuring 60 others

February 23: A 23-year-old boy, Tobechi Chijioke Duru, died a clash involving rival cult groups at Agwa Secondary School in Oguta LGA of Imo State.

February 23: A lady was killed when gunmen attacked a bullion van at Ubulu-Okiti, along Asaba -Benin Expressway Aniocha LGA, Delta State.

February: 23: A man was tortured to death by a missing goat in Ushongo LGA, Benue State.

February 23: Bandits on treetops killed a policeman and injured three others in Niger State.

February 23: A clash between two rival cults led to the death of 5 persons in Ikorodu LGA, Lagos.

February 23: Bandits and criminals killed no fewer than 28 persons in attacks on communities in Kaduna and Niger States. The attacks in Niger took place in Lapai and Shiroro LGAs. And that of Kaduna were in Anaba, barinje, Lwartem Rigasa, Kwartem waziri and Kwartem Shaku in Igabi and Chikun LGAs.

* February 23: Hoodlums attacked a police station at Abayi, Osisioma LGA, Abia, killed a policeman and set the station ablaze.

February 24: Bandits killed 18 persons in multiple attacks in Igabi and Chikun LGA, Kaduna State

February 24: Gunmen killed a policeman and some traders in a bullion van raid in Delta.

February 24: Cult clash claimed one life in Oyingbo area of Lagos

Vanguard News Nigeria 

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