Nigeria’s rising insecurity in the country has gone in various dimensions and is being orchestrated by different terrorist groups with continuous killings, kidnappings for ransom, maiming, raping of women, amongst others being their main activities.
The 2021 Global Terrorism Index ranked Nigeria as the sixth most terrorised country in the world, but on September 2, 2022, Jihad Analytics, which specialises in collating data on terrorists activities globally, in its half year report spanning January to June 2022, ranked the country, as the second most attacked and terrorised country in the world, only behind Iraq, who are ranked first.
Although shocking, it may not be far from the truth, going by the daily reports of the deadly activities of these terrorists. It is important to point out that those that weren’t reported are far more than those that were reported.
Before the assumption of office by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, the government promised to end insecurity in six months. However, less than eight months to complete the constitutionally provided two terms of four years each, the government is still making promises to end insecurity.
Security agencies and government officials have continued to express confidence that the insecurity ravaging the country will be put to an end before next year’s election.
Recall that the Interior minister, Rauf Aregbesola last week in Abuja said, “Our ultimate goal is to eliminate them altogether and restore total peace in every inch of the Nigerian soil; that we’re going to do by God’s grace, by December of this year.” Also, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, in Abuja, assured that there is no immediate threat to the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
In the same vein, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, at a joint press briefing with three other heads of ministries, including Ministers of Defence, Bashir Magashi; Police, Dr. Mohammed Maigari Dingyadi and Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, also reassured Nigerians that the worst of insecurity in the country was over, adding that although there might still be pockets of attacks nationwide, the situation can never be worse.
However, these assurances have failed to restore the hopes of Nigerians that they will end insecurity, as it has become almost impossible for Nigerians to rely on those assurances. What should be asked the government is, how do they intend to achieve this in three months, when they haven’t been able to do so in their seven years in office? Could these assurance be coming because elections that may see them return to power is getting closer?
Remember, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State said the government know where these terrorists are. It is however, puzzling why the government has been dragging its feet to root out these elements depriving our nation of its sanity and peace.
One shouldn’t forget the statement credited to the former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, on December 1, 2020 when he said, “There is general misunderstanding of what insurgency and terrorism entail,” adding that “there is likelihood of terrorism persisting in Nigeria for another 20 years.”
“It only depends on the level of escalation and the appropriate responses by all stakeholders both civil and military authorities. Also by both local and international actors. Citizens responsibility is equally important and imperative. All must cooperate to contain the lingering insecurity. Let there be collective action and responsibility,” he noted however.
Sadly, the former general spoke the honest truth, with allegations of security agencies, politicians and community leaders conniving with terrorists for financial gains, along with pardoning of terrorists in the name of being repentant, as well as government’s glorification of bandits by conferring them with chieftaincy titles, and amnesty, will only further encourage and embolden other and aspiring terrorists that there is reward for terrorism and banditry in Nigeria.
While there are mixed reactions to today’s arrest of Tukur Mumu, Spokesman of Kaduna cleric, Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, it could be a large step to curtailing this menacing situation in the country. However, this situation coming to an end will still continue to be far from over if the the political will is missing.