Insecurity: Nigeria Has Never Had It This Bad, Says Afenifere – THISDAY Newspapers
Kemi Olaitan in Ibadan
The Pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, yesterday came hard on the federal government, saying the growing insecurity in the country was a warning that Nigeria was under siege of evil-minded people.
The organisation, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi, lamented the invasion of the Abuja residence of Justice Mary Peter-Odili, attack on the Ado Ekiti home of Prof. Banji Akintoye, abduction of Kwali Chief Imam and his children as well as the abduction of two Uniabuja professors and a senior lecturer with some family members, among many others.
Afenifere said Nigeria has never been under so much danger not even during the regime of the late General Sani Abacha, stating that the invasion of the residence of Justice Peter-Odili, brought to mind the bombardment of the Asokoro, Abuja home of the elder statesman, Pa Edwin Clark in October, 2018 by those it described as agents of the federal government.
Afenifere added that it received the news of the attack on the house of the Leader of Ilana Omo Yoruba with utter shock, and that it was clear that the mission of the attackers was dastardly as bullets, believed to have come from an AK-47 by the invaders.
According to the statement, “The spate and incidence of banditry and illegal invasion of citizens’ abodes are no longer restricted to any specific areas as the attacks now occur in places of worship, schools, motor parks, farms and private houses. For instance, late last week, the Chief Imam of Yangoji Central Mosque in Kwali Area Council, Abuja, Alhaji Abdullahi Abubakar Gbedako and two of his sons were abducted in their own home.
“In a similar vein, Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, confirmed that five persons were killed in Chikun and Igabi Local Government Areas of Kaduna state while many were kidnapped. The attacks occurred on Sunday, October 31, while some of the victims were worshipping at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Kakau Daji.
“The above were apart from the several cases of terrorism and banditry occurring on a daily basis in various parts of the country. But rather than confronting the insecurity challenge headlong, the federal government prefers to dawdle – being soft on the bandits but harsh on those advocating for self-determination.”
He insisted that the double standard being displayed by the government was making it difficult to easily overcome the problem of insecurity, lamenting that the Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), recently said government had not declared bandits as terrorists because it wanted to follow due process.
Afenifere maintained that faces and names of people relating with kidnappers and allied bandits to negotiate for ransom were known but government had not deemed it fit to take action on them, insisting that with an attitude of this nature it would be difficult to be able to win the war on banditry.
“But government owes the nation a duty to keep the lives and properties safe. Failure to do so is not only a dereliction of duty, it is also against the constitution that makes the protection of citizens a sacred duty of the government,” the statement stated.