•Nigerians are being killed like chickens – CAN

•FG should do more, beyond condemning killing of Nigerians – Sultan

•Laments govt lacks will to hold security chiefs to account

Reps urge Buhari to deploy military personnel to Sokoto

Want modern boats to prevent mishaps

Bandits kill 16 worshippers in the Mosque in Niger

Block highway in Zamfara for five days, kill six motorists

3 farmers confirmed killed by invading herders in Adamawa community

Osinbajo tasks security agencies on technology-driven solutions

By Wole Mosadomi, Umar Yusuf,  Levinus Nwabughiogu & Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo

DISTURBED by the rising wave of killings in the country, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN; and the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu   Sa’ad Abubakar 111, yesterday, lamented that Nigerians were now being killed like chickens.  

They also urged the Federal Government to do more to halt the deadly trend beyond condemning the killings.

CAN and JNI spoke on a day bandits killed 16 persons in a mosque in Niger State.

Condemning the murder of 23 innocent travellers by terrorists  in Sokoto State and many other attacks on citizens by criminals, CAN said the killings had further shown how human life  was cheaper than that of chickens today in Nigeria.

In a statement, Rev John Joseph Hayab, Vice Chairman, CAN of the 19 Northern states and Abuja, said the religious body was concerned that  “the terrorists  have taken their crime against Nigerians too far” and called on the Federal Government and governors in the Northern states, especially in the  North- West, to take strong measures to stop this evil permanently.”

He continued: “How can people be productive when they are living in perpetual fear of terrorists in their homes and everywhere they go? Security of lives and property is a serious government business but what we are seeing  today is how some of our leaders are playing politics with a serious matter that has almost destroyed the peace, joy and hope of the citizens.

“CAN is appealing to security agencies to stop the unhealthy competition among them and work together in unity for the common good of all Nigerians. Our security agencies have all it will take to defeat these terrorists.”

Govt appears unperturbed — JNI

Also speaking on a day that the House of Representatives  urged President Muhammadu Buhari to deploy more military personnel to Sokoto State to tackle the menace, the JNI said no fewer than 40 people and not 23 were burnt along Sabon Birni-Sokoto Road, in Sokoto State.

The JNI said, in a statement: “It is forbidden for human life to be killed unjustly, let alone burning it. And in all climes, the government is essentially in place to protect and safe-guard human life from being killed.

‘’Besides, Chapter 2 of the Nigerian Constitution unambiguously affirms that human life is sacrosanct. It is, therefore, utterly disgusting, heartrending and unprecedented the waylaying of unarmed innocent and defenseless passengers and their subsequent burning beyond recognition by the heartless and rampaging bandits at Gidan Bawa village in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State.

‘’Yet the government isn’t perturbed and no concrete action is seen to have been taken. Even the media outcry is trifled, compared to similar incidences in other parts of Nigeria.’

‘’From all indications, despite the establishment of combined security forces along known routes where bandits operate, they still carry out their dastardly acts freely. Isn’t it treacherous and heartless that by plying major roads within North-West – Nigeria, defenseless citizens are allowed to be flocked into kidnappers’ den and thereafter negotiations for ransom payment are initiated?

‘’What is Nigeria turning into, a lawless entity? Amid the Sabon Birni episode, just this morning (Thursday, 9th  December, 2021), 16 people were reportedly killed in a mosque at Mashegu Local Government Area of Niger State.

‘’What really is the matter that the government has not been able to halt the operations of bandits against innocent citizens, particularly in North-Western Nigeria? We are compelled to assume that the government seems oblivious to the sufferings and agonies of its citizens as a result of the relentless activities of these bandits.

“Nevertheless, JNI condemns in the strongest terms this senseless and barbaric act, along with other equally disheartened bloodletting and carnage.

‘’Likewise, all other acts of arson attacks, attempted prison jail breaks, bomb blasts in Oyo, Kogi, Plateau, Yobe and Borno states and many of such irrepressible acts stand condemned by the JNI. But for how long, shall we continue to condemn acts of extreme violence without any concerted efforts in ending them?

“For how long, would we continue to remain indifferent? And for how long would we continue to remain hopeless in this precarious situation? The most disturbing dimension of this situation is the apparent government’s inability to confront this monstrous trend head-on.

‘’Our position is reinforced by the government’s inaction to hold erring security officials responsible. In other words, there is a clear essence of lack of accountability, security chiefs and their subordinates appear not to be made to pay for their inaction or irresponsibility.

“We reiterate our calls on the Federal Government to rise to its primary-cum-constitutional responsibility of protecting and securing citizens, and do well beyond condemnation on security-related matters.

‘’Nigerians are desperately yearning for concrete actions against all forms of criminalities. Silence is not golden given the most unfortunate spate of horrendous butchery of human lives in the Nigerian state…

“The Northern Governors’ Forum should rise above board and collectively end the new normal eroding the heritage of the North. They should learn from their colleagues of the southern extraction.

‘’Cases in point are the ongoing debate of the death of a student of Dowen College and the eight children that were reportedly found dead in a Honda Pilot Jeep marked AAA 157 BD, at Adelayo Street, Jah-Machael Area of Olorunda, all in Lagos state.

‘’Similarly, Ondo State governor stood for its citizens that were murdered in Plateau State some months ago.  The Federal Government should be seen to be proactive on security matters, as well as assure and assuage citizens’ fears at critical moments of grief.

‘’The recurrent security challenges, such as kidnappings, armed robberies, rising bomb blasts and attack of Boko Haram cum ISWAP insurgents, in addition to ethnic violence here and there within Nigeria, is alarming. Government needs to wake up as citizens are becoming more and more agitated.”

Reps urge Buhari to deploy military personnel to Sokoto

Meanwhile, concerned by the spate of killings in Sokoto, the House of Representatives, yesterday, urged President Buhari to deploy more military personnel to Sokoto State.

The call followed the consideration of a motion of urgent public importance at plenary, moved by  Mohmmed Bargaja from Sokoto State. 

Moving the motion, the lawmaker condemned the attack which resulted in the death of 23 travellers.

He also expressed worry over cases of massive killings, kidnappings and other social vices which he said were now on the increase.

Adopting the motion, the House appealed to the President to intervene urgently.

On a similar note, the House also sought the acquisition of modern boats to help reduce the incidence of mishaps on the waterways. 

The resolution was sequel to the consideration of a motion titled, “Unfortunate Boat Mishap at Bagwai and Badau of Shanono/Bagwai Federal Constituency, Kano State,” moved by  Hon. Ahmed Yusuf Badau .

READ ALSO: Sokoto Attack: Bandits have turned Nigeria into killing field — Northern group

Moving the motion, Badau noted the recent boat accident which resulted in the death of 42 passengers at Watari Dam in Bagwai Local Government Area of Kano State.

He also noted that people of Bagwai, Badau and other communities bordering the Watari Dam weremostly farmers who transport their produce to other parts of the state through the waters, and thus depend on the Watari Dam for their day-to-day livelihood.

Adopting the motion, the House urged the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to pay a condolence visit to the families of the victims and provide modern boats to enable the people to travel safely along the Watari Dam.

The House also directed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management to provide relief materials for the victims just as he  mandated the Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness to ensure compliance with the resolution.

Bandits kill 16 worshippers in the Mosque in Niger

Also yesterday, sixteen worshippers were gruesomely murdered while performing their Subhi prayers at Ba’are village in Mashegu Local Government Area of Niger State.

Besides those killed, several others were seriously wounded and are now recuperating at Kontagora General Hospital.

This is the second time such an attack will occur in Niger State.

Vanguard gathered that the bandits invaded the Mosque in large number on motorcycles, rounded up the worshippers and started shooting sporadically.

Those who were trapped in the Mosque were shot dead, while those who tried to escape were also shot, leaving many seriously injured.

About a month ago, bandits in their large number, wielding dangerous weapons, stormed Maza kuka village of the local government and killed 18 worshippers, while also observing their Subhi prayers.

The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Monday Bala Kuryas, who confirmed the killings yesterday, however, said only nine people were killed.

He said   police, in collaboration with the Army, Civil Defence and Vigilante, had been drafted to the area to beef up security.

He assured people of the state of safety of their lives and property, just as he called on the people to go about their lawful businesses. 

Bandits block highway in Zamfara for five days, kill six motorists

Bandits in Zamfara also went on rampage in Zamfara as they blocked a major highway in the state for at least five straight days, killing at least six motorists.

The security situation on the highway – which links three local government areas Shinkafi, Moriki (in Zurmi), and Kaura-Namoda – has left travellers in fear after the armed men were reported to have killed six motorists.

Sources said the bandits, who blocked the road to protest the closure of the cattle market in Shinkafi LGA, also abducted many passengers and set several vehicles on fire.

Although Police authorities in Zamfara confirmed the incidents, they stated that the Shinkafi–Moriki–Kaura-Namoda Road had since been cleared and was safe for use.

An Indigene of Shinkafi, Aliyu Guraguri, reportedly said the bandits were angry due to the closure of the cattle market and vowed that nobody would have access to other markets in the LGA, having cut off the area from Kaura-Namoda and Gusau, the state capital.

“There have been incessant attacks along the road. The attacks started around Tuesday, last week, when they started stopping vehicles, setting them ablaze, kidnapping people, and killing some at gunpoint.

“They have burnt down six vehicles, killed six motorists, kidnapped several others, and caused an accident involving a trailer carrying potatoes from Shinkafi market. The bandits were saying since the cattle market was closed down, nobody will have access to other markets in Shinkafi,” the indigene said.

  Not under siege

Confirming the incidents, the Commissioner of Police in Zamfara, Ayuba Elkanah, said the command has deployed a tactical team to the troubled road.

“The situation along Kaura-Namoda-Shinkafi road is under control because some few days ago, we had challenges where these bandits took advantage of some locations to attack commuters.

“Now, we have put our heads together with other security chiefs and deployed enough security operatives along the road.   Now the road is free for movement. We have deployed about seven operational vehicles working there morning till evening. Commuters are now using the road. Shinkafi road is not under siege.”

Elkanah also confirmed the attack on farmers in Birnin Yero, saying the bandits requested petrol from two farmers which they declined before they opened fire on them.

3 farmers confirmed killed by invading herders in Adamawa community

Also, in Adamawa, suspected herdsmen killed three farmers after invading their farmland at Kasuwan-Ladi village in the Toungo Local Government Area, close to borders between Nigeria and Republic of Cameron.

Local sources said the farmers were killed, following a hot argument as the farmers were resisting  herders who forcibly grazed their cattle on crops during harvest.

Immediate past Chairman of Toungo Local Government Council, Calvin Kefas, confirmed the incident.

He said:  “It happened on Wednesday, the very day we were handing over after the expiration of our tenure as local government chairmen in the state. The situation is now calm because security operatives, including the police, army and Civil Defense officers, are already handling the situation.”

The state police also confirmed that three persons were killed, while two others sustained injuries during a clash between the herders and farmers.

Spokesperson for the state command, DSP Suleiman Nguroje, said “operatives of the command had arrested three suspects in connection with the attack.”

He, however, said the situation was under control, while investigation was ongoing. 

Leverage more technology-driven solutions, Osinbajo tasks security agencies

Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has urged security agencies to leverage more technology-driven solutions and intelligence-driven collaboration in order to improve the nation’s security architecture in line with global standards.

Osinbajo stated this at the graduation ceremony of participants of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 14 at the National Institute for Security Studies, Bwari, Abuja.

According to him, leveraging more on technology and collaborating intelligently will make the security agencies effectively tackle challenges nationwide.

He noted that the Buhari-led administration had and was still investing more in the sector.

‘’President Buhari has emphasized an approach that leverages inter-agency collaboration, joint operations, technology-driven enablers and the optimization of existing capabilities to avoid duplication of resources and expenditure,” Osinbajo stated.

  Highlighting the impact of technology on enhancing security and cyber intelligence, the Vice President said: “When applied creatively, technology can be a force multiplier, amplifying our potential and capacity to effectively secure our territory. It is not enough to know that we should deploy technology for surveillance and combat.

“We must become much smarter in the deployment of Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tools to compensate for the human resource deficits within our security establishment.’’

In the same vein, the VP urged the nation’s security and intelligence agencies to reinvent itself and adopt a more empirical and data-driven institutional culture defined by analytical and forensic rigour, while also emphasizing on inter-agency collaboration and synergy.

The Vice President added that leveraging technology, critical thinking and a more strategic approach to intelligence gathering would further help to address security threats.

  He called for the adoption of cutting-edge technology to tackle security challenges and threats. “Our intelligence services must be proactive rather than reactive, ahead of the curve rather than behind it. Threats must be identified and addressed well before they evolve into manifest perils,” he stated.

He further said, “The business of intelligence necessarily entails the capacity to expect the unexpected and to foresee the impact of unintended consequences and Black Swan events – that is unpredictable events that are beyond what is normally expected of a situation and have potentially severe consequences.”

The VP mentioned the use of “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Edge Computing, Quantum Computing, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G.”

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