Terrorism and Banditry in Nigeria

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I’ve observed that many Nigerians are so much concerned about the recent port explosion in Beirut, Lebanon. Today, I say ‘amen’ to all the prayers showered upon the people. However, I’ve also observed with dismay, the nonchalant attitudes of many Nigerians towards happenings in our country, ranging from terrorism to banditry.

Nigerians are quick at registering their thoughts and prayers with people of other countries but act like nothing is wrong with ours. Funny how Nigerians supported the black lives matter protest from the beginning to the end, calling for justice for George Floyd but are yet to raise their voices against the killings in Southern Kaduna. Funny how Nigerians condemned Donald Trump for the airstrike in Iran, yet lost their voices in calling for an end to terrorism and banditry in the northern part of Nigeria.

Over the years, thousands of lives have been lost to inhuman acts of terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, rape and ritual killings in Nigeria. For the few of us who seem interested in seeing an end to these misdemeanors, all we could do was to seek justice on social media. For the ‘international activists,’ they’re more interested in seeking justice for killings and raining thoughts and prayers for incidences outside Nigeria. Even the president of Nigeria went ahead to wish Saudi Arabia king a quick recovery a day after the last killings in Southern Kaduna. Till this moment, Mr. President is yet to say anything about the killings. Rather, he commended the service chiefs, saying they’ve done their best in the fight against insurgency.

Many killers are freed, absorbed into the society and empowered in the name of ‘repentant’ Boko Haram members while people who have been rendered homeless with their loved ones killed by these said ‘deradicalised’ killers are there at Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps. Unfortunately, some not-to-be-called-humans still find interest in looting the money meant to take care of these people’s needs. Most unfortunate, many Nigerians are more concerned about international affairs.

Should we continue to see these happen without taking giant steps towards seeing to their end? Should we continue to stick to international affairs rather than holding our government accountable for all the lives that have been lost? Should we continue to prioritize the wellbeing of the people of other countries over our own people? These are questions we need to ponder upon.

Killings in Southern Kaduna have for many years been the travail of the people. Hundreds of people have been killed since its inception. Unfortunately, no one could point out any reason for the killings: religion, ethnicity; different people are of different opinions.

Borno, Yobe and other Northeastern states are being ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgents. Many have lost their lives since the beginning and many are still dying as a result of this.

The people of Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto have lost their loved ones to banditry and kidnapping. The people have lost count of the number of lives that have been lost to this menace, yet no assurance that such won’t occur in the future.

On July 14th, 2020, Sa’adatu Usman, a student of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto was shot dead by kidnappers in Nasarawa. On 24th of July, 2020, Yusha’u Cisse Hashim, another student of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto was shot by bandits at his home in Katsina with his siblings still in the hands of these deadly people, demanding N300 million ransom. Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a student of UNIBEN was raped and killed in a church. Till date, investigation is ongoing with no justice assured. Many women have died in same manner, especially during this period of COVID-19 pandemic.

Nigerians should start taking Nigeria seriously. It’s high time we took responsibility by serving as front line army in the fight against these evil occurrences.

My thoughts and prayers are with families who have lost their loved ones to all these happenings in the country.

Bashir Turawa, Ilorin, Kwara State