By Constance Meju
Theinspector general of Police, IGP AlhajiMohammed Adamu told a gathering ofnorthern traditional rulers in May that between January and April 2019, 1071persons were killed, 685 kidnapped by crimerelated cases across the country.
He wasspeaking at the quarterly Northern Traditional Rulers Council Meeting I Kaduna.The police boss who President Muhammadu Buhari described on return from a12-day private trip to London, as working hard since he was observed to havelost weight over escalating atrocities y bandits said among the victims, 767persons were from the North with the Boko Haram and bandits ravaged North Eastrecording 436 deaths, herdsmen traumatized North Central, 250 and militancy andsecurity forces over ran South South, 130.
State-wise,Zamfara State, the new land of raw gold topped the list with 203 murder casesfollowed by Kaduna with 112 reported cases while 90 people are in policerecords as those killed in Kaduna. Kaduna has been a hot bed of religiouscrisis between Muslim sects and Muslims versus Christians.
Ordinarilythe above figures should frighten but from experience we know that more personshave died within the period under review, especially, as we know that many cases are not reported to the police.People are being killed every day. Kidnapping, ritual killings and armed robbery have become regular incidents in this country. Thehighways are unsafe so also the streets and even the homes. Nigerians havebecome easy targets for scoundrels made worse by AK47 gun-carrying Fulaniherdsmen rampaging in the South and North Central taking over farmlands andkidnapping commuters and farmers for huge ransoms.
So seriousis the security situation that the rich have abandoned road travel along theKaduna highway to kidnappers and have now taken over rail transport. Imaginewhat would have happened had the Jonathan administration not taken up thechallenge to revive a moribund rail system the Obasanjo tried to feeblyresurrect.
Disgustedwith the state of things, of Katsinaclearly advised the minister of Internal Affairs when he came with a delegationof federal officials to distribute seeds for planting to the people of KatsinaState to go back to Buhari with the message that in the face of mountinginsecurity, farming has become a threatened affair. He lamented that the emirof Daura has been kidnapped for months without useful information or releaseand that people are now afraid to go out.
To presshome this state of worry, Katsina people were advised y their leader to forgetcelebration of the just ended salah but use it to ask Allah to intervene. Thatis, they have lost faith in the government security apparatus. They are notalone; many Nigerians are giving up on the government over insecurity. Even thewife of the president Hajia Aisha Buhari has challenged the security apparatusin the country to wake up and protect the people.
She calledon Nigerians to beat the pretense and begin to demand that the right thingsshould be done. Every day
“Thesecurity agencies should either assist to take action or allow the situation tocontinue until bandits finish killing our people. We should not keep silentwhile things are happening thinking that if something happens today, it willnot happen tomorrow. What happened today will happen tomorrow.
“It iscompulsory to speak the truth. It is not proper for us to give the highestnumber of voters during the general elections and allow bandits to continuekilling people and keep quiet. We must speak on whatever is going wrong in thecountry.
Event was asallah gift presentation to victims ofinsecurity in Katsina being received bythe district head of Katsina , Alhaji Aminu Abdulmumini
25,794 Nigerians killed in ViolentCrisis During Buhari’s First Term
Nigeria Securitytracker, a project of the Council of Foreign Relations, a non-profit think tankspecializing in US foreign policy and international affairs.
The numberrepresents those killed by different insurgent groups and Boko Haram in theNorth East and North Central, herdsmen and people who died in extra-judicialatrocities of the military.
From June2015 to May 2019, according to the report, Borno State suffered the highestcasualties, recording 9303 deaths, followed by Zamfara State with 1,968 andAdamawa 1,529. Kaduna lost1,488 persons, Plateau State 771, Taraba State 649,and Benue State 1,642.
Ogun Statelost 307.
Highestcasualties were recorded in July 2015 (1,299) and January 2019 (1, 077).
Boko Harameliminated 5, 598 persons while sectarian violence including theherdsmen/farmers crisis sent 4, 917 to death. State actors and the militarykilled 4,068.
The reportalso revealed that under the Jonathan administration, June 2011-May 2015, atotal of 34,884 persons were killed across the country. Highest killings wererecorded March 2014 when 3,456.
In the NigerDelta, the Niger Delta Security Tracker tracks violence that is both casual andsymbiotic of Nigeria’s political instability and citizen alienation.
The data thereport stated, are based on weekly surveys of Nigerian and international media.
May 9, 2019,a female student of the department of Micro-Biology of the University of PortHarcourt was kidnapped with three other persons right inside the Abuja Campusof the university. She was standing in front of Access Bank waiting to join abus going to Campus. A vehicle like theschool shuttle bus came along. Inside were a driver and a conductor. Sheboarded with the other three the bus and along the way, the passengers werelater shown a gun and a machete which subdued them into accepting to beblindfolded and taken to a place where other captives kept in a forest.
The femalestudent was lucky to escape on Monday and reported at the Uniport Health Center Tuesday. She reported seeingkidnappers slaughter two victims. She also heard the kidnappers putting a callacross to an Alhaji negotiating price for ransom and body parts.
Though theschool security was alerted on the development, it is not sure if they wereable to trace the hide-out of the kidnappers.
A worriedparent fearing for the safety of his final year daughter recently called toinquire if it was safe for her to travel to delta State from Port Harcourt inview of the reported incidents of kidnapping on the Port Harcourt/Onitsha Road.He ended up deciding despite assurances that things have cooled down, thatsince the final semester break will be short, the girl had better stay in PortHarcourt with relatives so she will cross dangerous waters only once-as shepacks her bags.
In Lagos, alady raised alarm that thugs were taking over her area.
“It is notfunny anymore. There is a new group of boys called ‘Omo no Salary’ in my area,Ijegun Rd, Ikotun, Lagos; their age is 14-18 or thereabout. They move with newcutlasses stopping people and cars on the road, robbing them. We need help ooh!We are suffering”, the Facebook user cried out.
Every day even the police send alerts warningcitizens to avoid routes and busy places to avoid becoming victims ofunbridled violence.
Fear is inevery corner of the country.
“Our nationis currently ruled by fear . Our people are fearful to go out, fearful totravel to the hinterlands, fearful to go to their farms, fearful to go to theirplaces of worship, fearful to go to the market places, fearful even in theirbedchambers.
No faith hasbeen spared. No tribe has been marked out as sacred. No age grade has beenrespected, No culture has been revered. Many are fleeing the country. A massivebrain drain is ongoing. Through the land, the air and the seas, legitimatelyand illegitimately, many are scampering into safety beyond our shores. Howfarther yet can these go on? There is a siege on the land but we can dethronethe treasure of this siege” a social media commentator cried on WhatsApp.