Our land soaked in blood, gloom, South-East Bishops wail

We are number 6, not number 2 — Analyst

By Clifford Ndujihe, Anayo Okoli, 

Dapo Akinrefon, Henry Umoru, 

John Alechenu & Peter Duru

Controversy is trailing the ranking of Nigeria as the second most terrorized and attacked country in the world after Iraq by the global Terrorism Research/ Analysis Organisation.

Groups and eminent Nigerians, who spoke on the ranking, lamented the dangerous bent insecurity has taken in the country and tasked government on decisive action.

Those who spoke include Afenifere; Ohanaeze Ndigbo; Middle Belt Forum, MBF; Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF; Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF; Labour Party, LP; and Chief Akin Osuntokun.

The ranking, based on terrorists’ attacks between January and June 2022, fingered Boko Haram as being responsible for most of 305 attacks the organisation tallied in Nigeria. While 337 attacks were recorded in Iraq, Syria had 142 attacks.

Meanwhile, a military analyst disputed the ranking, saying the only recognizable terrorism ranking in the world is the one done by the Global Terrorism Index.

According to him, in the last ranking by the platform, Nigeria is in the sixth position, coming after Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Iraq and Syria.

Govt must take note, double efforts against insecurity — Sani

Commenting on the ranking, a former National Publicity Secretary of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Mr Anthony N.Z Sani, said: “I do not have the facts to make informed comments on the rating of Nigeria as the second most terrorized nation in the world. All I can say is that the government should note the reports and double down its efforts in order to put a permanent end to insecurity posed by terrorist across the country.”

It’s a vote of no confidence on Buhari’s govt—Afenifere

In its reaction, the pan Yoruba Socio-political organisation, Afenifere, said the ranking shows a vote of no confidence on the President Muhammaadu Buhari administration.

Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Jare Ajayi, said: “It’s a dangerous thing if on the negative side, Nigeria is ranked in the whole world after Iraq. As we all know, Iraq just went through a devasting war immediately after the removal of Saddam Hussein but Nigeria did not go through such.

“For that, there is no basis whatsoever why Nigeria should be in this kind of situation.

It is a negative mark on the Buhari government, which has been on in the last seven years and a vote of no confidence on his administration.

“This is what Afenifere has been saying and we have been consistent on it. We are not comfortable with it and it is a pity that the global terrorism index has ranked us on the negative side. It is sad.”

Ranking’s testament of APC’s failure — LP

National Chairman of the Labour Party, LP, Comrade Julius Abure,and National Publicity Secretary of the party, Comrade Abayomi Oluwafemi, said the ranking was in tandem with the parlous insecurity situation in the country.

Abure said securing lives and property of the citizenry is the basic minimum duty of any government and any government that cannot provide security should not exist.

The Labour Party added that Nigeria’s position as the second most terrorized nation on earth is a clear testimony of the failure of the President Buhari-led All Progressives Congress, APC administration.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Comrade Abayomi Oluwafemi, said: “This ignoble position we have found ourselves is a clear testimony of the failure which the APC administration has been on all fronts over the last seven years.

“It is not surprising because this is the same country where bandits over ran our foremost military officers training institution, the Nigerian Defence Academy.

“Is it not in this same country under the watch of the APC that bandits attacked the convoy of a sitting President? Is this not the same country where terrorists are killing, raping and maiming defenceless  citizens?

“What about the killing of innocent worshipers at the Church in Owo? the APC is a total failure. 

“That is why we appeal to Nigerians to make a better choice when voting in 2023, they can chose wisely by voting for the Obi/ Datti ticker and the Labour Party to change the narrative.”

It’s a reflection of happenings in the country —MBF

The National Presidet of the Middle Belt Forum, MBF, Dr. Bitrus Pogu, said the classification of Nigeria as the second most terrorised country in the world was  absolutely correct because it was based on happenings in the country.

Dr. Poge who spoke to Saturday Vanguard in Makurdi, said: “I believe that they used available data to arrive at that classification. There are a lot of things happening in this country that are not reported especially in the North West. The level at which the indigenous Hausa are being attacked and wiped out is unprecedented.

“You know that in our case (Middle Belt) we have an organised system and it has worked in our favour, we have been able to make noise in some cases. But in their own case much of it is not reported. But the international community has quite some data, and it is based on that that they must have arrived at the conclusion that we are the second most terrorised country in the world.

“So it is now left to our government that whatever they are hiding, whatever they didn’t want the international community to know, is now known; and they should do the needful.

“They should put their acts together because in the long run what they are trying to cover up will come to the open; and it has started coming to the open. We pray that they change what is being done.

“I mean when Governor Samuel Ortom said that government forces are protecting terrorists and now the Federal Government is saying they should give evidence as to who revealed it to him; it is all a cover up. As far as we know Nigeria is so terrorised, you and I don’t feel safe moving on the road. We move praying that we do not fall prey to bandits.

“So that classification is correct as far as I’m concerned. And we need to do things right, so that we don’t continue to live in fools’ paradise and continue pretending that all is well while everything is not well.”

Revelation’s not surprising — Osuntokun

On his part, Chief Akin Osuntokun, former spokesman to former  President Olusegun Obasanjo, said:  “No honest observer of Nigeria can claim to find this revelation surprising. We live the daily realty of the report. But wait for the response of the presidency and the alternate reality they will concoct and you will understand why Nigeria is the way it is. 

“Look, who feels it knows it. I went for the burial ceremony of the mother of my boss Nduka Obaigbena, two weeks ago in Agbor, Delta State. What pained me most was I couldn’t go by road. “Given the reality of contemporary Nigeria, it would have been insane of me to even float the idea for discussion. You remember what the governor of kaduna state said on the security status of Nigeria. He said the government knows where these bandits are holed up and couldn’t understand why his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari was pussy footing around. 

He thereafter threatened to invite foreign mercenaries to come and fill the vacuum created by the incapacity of this government. Two days ago, the Governor of Zamfara state, Mutawallen, stated he had ordered 7000 guns for the citizens to protect themselves since the government has become powerless to do anything about the security situation.”

Ranking appalling, frightening but stark reality —PANDEF

The Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, led by the South South leader, Chief Edwin Clark described the Global Terrorism Research/Analysis Organization ranking  Nigeria as the  2nd Most Terrorized/ Attacked Country After Iraq as the stark reality.

According to PANDEF, though the ranking is appalling and quite frightening the truth must be told considering how unsafe Nigeria is following the incessant attacks and kidnapping by terrorists, massive killing and wanton destruction of property.

Speaking with Vanguard yesterday,  National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF,  Mr.  Ken Robinson said: “The ranking of Nigeria as the second most terrorized/attacked country, coming after Iraq, and ahead of countries like Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, etcetera, is appalling and quite frightening, but that’s the stark reality.

“The state of insecurity is dreadful and it’s worsening by the day; innocent Nigerians are being killed daily virtually in all parts of the country by violent extremist groups and criminal gangs. It is either audacious terrorist bandits and marauding killer expansionists in some parts of the country or vicious kidnappers, unknown gunmen and sea pirates in the other parts. Suffice it to say that the country is under an existential threat.

“Unfortunately, the Police, as well as the military and other security agencies, appear to have been overwhelmed, and the situation has been exacerbated by the equivocations of the government, with reports of official complicity and even outright sabotage.

“We can only hope that the next administration would be pragmatic and decisive in dealing with the security situation.”

How to fight insecurity— ADF

Also reacting, Igbo elite body, Alaigbo Development Foundation, ADF, through its Spokesman, Chief Abia Onyike, said: “It is not the yearly increases in security budgets that would defeat insecurity and terrorism in Nigeria. 

The defeat of these monsters would come from a radical socio-economic transformation that would guarantee mass employment opportunities, improved educational opportunities  for the citizens and a drastic national mental reformation which should place less emphasis on religious indoctrination and ethnic chauvinism.

“If these measures are not introduced and followed, no amount of ammarment build-up can eradicate the crisis of terrorism, violence and banditry in Nigeria.”l

“The  culture of extremism,  seperatism, violence and terrorism are man-made.They reflect the internal struggles between rival factions of the ruling class and  diverse regional forces for  political  control and hegemony. These struggles undermine patriotic commitment to nation-building.

“Unless the various ethnic and religious dichotomies are compelled to close ranks for genuine patriotism and nation-building, there can be no end to terrorism in Nigeria.”

Why insecurity is worsening in Nigeria —Ohanaeze

Agreeing with the ranking, the  Ohanaeze Ndigbo  declared that insecurity in Nigeria would persist as long as the wrong approach is deployed to tackle it.

Ohanaeze specifically said insecurity would remain as long as the appointment of security chiefs are based on nepotism rather than on merit.

In a statement the National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze Ndigbo said: “The insecurity in Nigeria will remain unabated so long as the wrong approach to its solution persists. In the first place, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide has raised alarm that the lopsidedness in the appointment of service chiefs in Nigeria has greatly antagonised merit.

“Ohanaeze has questioned the rationale behind the alienation of several brilliant brave military officers from the South East of Nigeria on account of nepotism. We argued that the expected morale and integrity in the armed forces will be jaundiced if ethnocentrism is elevated as a state policy among the rank and file of the army.

“The current insecurity catastrophe is the outcome of poor policy options.

“Secondly, the federal government is highly insincere in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria. It is very curious that the members of  Boko Harram are treated with kid gloves even when they kill, maim and displace  their victims. In other words, the Nigerian government lives in denial.

“Third, the gestapo style and precision with which terrorists overwhelmed the security operatives and picked the members of Boko Haram at the Kuje Correctional Centre leaves much questions than answers.

“In sum, we do not really believe that any country is higher than Nigeria on insecurity, rather insecurity in Nigeria is underrepresented.

“This is because, while the insecurity in some other countries such as Syria and Iraq are one directional, the sources of insecurity in Nigeria are multifaceted. They include Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, unknown gun men, banditry, kidnappings, cultism, corruption, fetishism, night marauders and hoodlums, etc. “Based on the above backdrop, no Nigerian is sure of the next day. It is very painful that Nigeria has degenerated so low”.

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.