NINAS NEWS Edwin Tech  

Unravelling the Kaduna insecurity quagmire – Punch Newspapers

Punch Newspapers
punchng.com © 1971-2020 The Punch newspaper
Distraught parents of some pupils of Bethel Baptist High School students , Kaduna
THE audacious attack by “bandits” on Nigeria’s premier military training institution on Tuesday puts the North-West state of Kaduna in the national and global spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Two questions agitate the minds of millions of current and former residents, products of its prestigious civilian and military schools and many who remain nostalgic of its role as the political capital of the old North: What is happening in Kaduna? And why can’t the rampaging insecurity be contained?
There are no easy answers, but the political and security leadership must unravel the roots and find solutions very quickly. Undeniably, crime is spilling out of control. Fulani herdsmen/militants, bandits and assorted criminals have denied the state of peace. Intelligence reports confirm its infiltration by Boko Haram/ISWAP/Ansaru Islamic terrorists. Mismanagement of its diversity that features 60 ethnic nationalities fuels frequent inter-communal violence that invariably conflates with mutually hostile sectarian loyalties. The assault on the Nigerian Defence Academy, along with the rampant criminality across the northern states and parts of the South confirm the country’s status as the world’s 12th most fragile state and third most impacted by terrorism.
Bandits killed 937 persons and kidnapped 1,972 others in 2020, the Kaduna State Annual Security Report revealed. Over 220 violent incidents were recorded in the state by the Armed Conflict and Location Event Data Project, with over 50,000 persons displaced. In the first three months of this year, 323 persons were slaughtered, and 949 others kidnapped. Fulani militants ravage villages sometimes meeting resistance from the locals; reprisal attacks are frequent.
To many people, the Kaduna State conundrum is confounding. The state Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, talks tough and unlike his counterparts in Zamfara, Katsina and other northern states, adopts a hard line on crime and terrorists. Yet, criminality is rising, not abating. Some of the scores of schoolchildren kidnapped from schools in the state are still being held by their captors in the forests. Primary and secondary schools in the state are closed indefinitely.
More bewildering is how the heavy security presence in the state has not deterred lawlessness. Apart from the NDA, Kaduna city hosts the Nigerian Army’s 1st Division, the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria that trains army recruits, the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Nigerian Air Force Training Command, Nigerian School of Artillery, Military Police School, the Defence Industry, Nigerian Navy School of Armament, and the Nigerian Police College, as well as anti-crime task forces. With such security muscle, it is baffling that outside of Borno, the epicentre of the Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgency, Kaduna State was the most terrorised state in Nigeria in 2020.
As ACLEDP researchers assert, the security crisis “revolves around three different but overlapping threats”: one is what it calls ‘farmer-herder conflict’; the second from “bandits” engaged in kidnapping, cattle rustling, highway robbery and arms dealing; the third comes from terror groups moving in from North-East Nigeria and home-grown ones from within the state and neighbouring ones. All are related.

To restore peace, el-Rufai and the increasingly compromised federal security agencies should call a spade by its name; terrorists have landed, calling them bandits or herders is a mischaracterisation. The international community has identified them among the top five most deadly terror groups in the world going by their gruesome body count and rapine. This is war, and all resources of the state should be mobilised to destroy them.


(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

Without a state policing/security initiative, the problem will not be solved as the central policing system has failed beyond salvage. Injustice, partisanship and coddling of the Fulani militants and bandits alienate the minorities of Southern Kaduna. El-Rufai can and should work to change this. In the meantime, the state’s 9.48 million people desperately await comforting answers from the federal and state governments to the twin posers: what is happening to Kaduna? And, why can’t this nightmare be brought to an end? Security of life and property being the primary responsibility of a government, the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and el-Rufai are duty bound to provide answers, and solutions.               
Copyright PUNCH.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.
Contact: [email protected]

punchng.com © 1971-2021 The Punch Newspaper
By submitting you agree to our privacy policy

source

Leave A Comment