The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere has described the handling of security situation in Nigeria by the Federal Government as tantamount to ceding the country to terrorists.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the organisation, Comrade Jare Ajayi described the confession by President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, Garba Shehu that terrorists ‘deceived’ the government into releasing his wife and children without freeing victims of the Abuja-Kaduna train as “unfortunate and an admission of failure” as a government.
“In view of the fact that government is expected to possess superior power in virtually everything than any others in a country, considering the fact that the primary responsibilities of the government are the provision of security and welfare for the people, and considering the fact that the present administration has failed to provide either security or welfare for the people of Nigeria in recent times, one may not be wrong to state that President Buhari’s government has greatly lost the confidence, trust and hope that were invested in it at inception. It is a pity.”
Last week, Shehu had said: “The commander of the terrorist group requested that the government should release his pregnant wife, which was done. The government even took her to the hospital for safe delivery and she delivered twins.
“The government went further to show him his wife and the twins so that he would believe and see that the mother and the babies were in good condition.
“We then handed over his family to his parents. Unfortunately, after all this, he failed to honour the agreement reached. We were deceived”.
The ‘agreement’ alluded to by Shehu was the release of the remaining Abuja-Kaduna train victims who had been with the kidnappers since 28 March. “By the way, what about other people kidnapped from other places”? Afenifere asked.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (Hausa Service) which reported Garba’s interview recalled that that was not the first time the terrorists had failed to honour such agreements. But it was the first time the Federal Government informed the world of such dealings with the terrorists.
According to the Afenifere spokesman, what came out of Shehu’s disclosures confirmed a suspicion and allegation that had been in the public domain that the government not only knows the terrorists, it is aware of where they are! “Why the government refuses to confront them and put an end to the needless loses and agonies of Nigerians is a riddle that one finds difficult to unravel”, he further said.
According to Ajayi, the government’s action in this respect could be likened to that of a father who does not frown at, or encourages bandits “not only to come into his household to rape his daughters but also to haul his sons into bondage. Sometimes, he even allows his wife to be abused by the invading bandits. Such is confounding and can hardly be explained or rationalised through any theory.”
He described the handling of security issues as unfortunately, which, according to him, “lends credence to the views of those who are alleging that there could be a hidden agenda to this issue of banditry, kidnapping and terrorism, otherwise, the government would have been more decisive in the way it tackles the monster that is fast eroding the very essence of our being”.
Regretting the level to which insecurity, terrorism, kidnapping and needless loss of precious lives had degenerated in the country, Ajayi said that killings of students and others in the South West as well as other parts of the country are troubling and disturbing to “us in Afenifere and to us in Yorubaland as a whole as it is for all well-meaning Nigerians”.
Last Thursday, a student of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Miss Happiness Odeh was kidnapped, reportedly raped and killed. On August 3, the National Diploma Two student was crowned as a beauty queen at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta. The incident was reported to have happened on her way to a film location in Ipara Remo, Ogun state.
A week earlier, a student of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Miss Racheal Opadele, was brutally killed by her kidnappers even after ransom was paid.
In June, several lives were brutally cut short by terrorists during a church service in Owo, Ondo State.
Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Iba Gani Adams recently said that that bushes in Yoruabaland had been infiltrated by terrorists with the intention of unleashing terror any time.
In Kaduna, the state Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai stated last week that terrorists had formed a parallel government in his state. His Benue State counterpart, Mr Samuel Ortom has set up what can be practically called a State Police because of the failure to get required support from the Federal Government-controlled security agencies. Some territories in states like Niger, Sokoto, Nassarawa, Borno including the president’s home state of Katsina are reportedly under the control of some bandits who are demanding taxes from the people in these communities.
The Afenifere spokesman pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently put a stop to “the needless sacrifice of lives of innocent Nigerians by terrorists by calling the their bluff, equipping the security agencies materially, logistically and in terms of morale-boosting, be genuinely committed to Nigeria and the people as well as by allowing states that are willing to set up state police forces.
“These things are the minimum that the President can do. And they are not difficult to be done at all. It only takes the desired political and moral will on the part of the President to do so”.
“The President should, without wasting any more time, get these things done as suggested. And in doing so, he could also delegate more powers so that the engine of the state can run faster and more efficiently” Ajayi said.