A New Mandate To Break The Chain Of Abduction And Killings In Nigeria

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has given a mandate to the new Service Chiefs to resolve insecurity in the country by all means necessary with his full backing.

In his statement yesterday, he said: “I have charged the new Service Chiefs to keep in mind that the nation is looking to them for rapid relief. They must identify competent officers irrespective of seniority and paper qualifications, and work with them to secure this country. As C-in-C I am backing them 100 percent.”

The Northern regions of Nigeria have been a hot spot of insurgency in recent years. This has been made worse by the sophisticated strategy used by insurgents, bandits, and militia herdsmen whose major preoccupation is killing, raping, and abductions, which the government seems helpless to prevent.

The last incident in the spate of attacks on schools is the abduction of 317 students from the Government Secondary School, Jandebe, Zamfara state. It appears from these attacks that the terrorist has become daring in the campaign against Western education, which they see as Westernization of Nigeria and which they believe is against Islam and its teachings.

The challenge of insecurity in Nigeria is made worse by the activities of bandits parading the country from the North to the South, killing and maiming, causing many people to flee from their villages as they are attacked on a daily basis. In addition, the age-long feud between herdsmen and farmers has left thousands of casualties in its trail. Today, there is a group of herdsmen militias who invade villages and towns with AK-47s and other assault rifles, killing men and raping women and girls.

Many Nigerians living in the Northeast and Northwest have fled their ancestral homes to the neighboring countries of Chad, Niger, and Cameroon, now living in Internally Displayed People’s Camp (IDP camps). This is in addition to the many IDP camps scattered throughout Nigeria itself, leaving many children without access to quality education and basic health care.

The Federal Government of Nigeria, have in the past adopted a number of strategies to stop the bloodshed and abductions of innocent victims using military actions against the insurgents and bandits. However, these approaches have yielded little or no results, and casualties have continued to increase on a daily basis with no end in sight.

In the last month, more than 600 school children have been kidnapped. A brief analysis of the school children in Nigeria reveals the following:

  • In Jangebe, Zamfara, 317 have been kidnapped;
  • In Kagara (2021), 27 students and 15 others have been kidnapped;
  • In Kankara (2020), 344 students were kidnapped (and released);
  • In Chibok (2014), 276 were kidnapped (112 were school girls); and
  • In Dapchi (2018),  113 were kidnapped (107 released and 6 killed);

This new mandate is expected to give the service chiefs the needed backing to seek a lasting solution and bring about much needed peace and stability in a country that still grips with widespread poverty and infrastructure decay.

The peace that we seek can only be achieved with the contribution and support of all and sundry, with a commitment by the government to bring about a lasting peace and security.