At Nigeria`s steep descent into the jaws of insecurity has come the mounting concern that it is those who live in rural communities that would be most affected and may not have a voice strong enough to contribute to the conversation about the security of their country.

  These include rural farmers and clerics in rural communities. They include many large families who used to know peace and serenity even in the midst of deprivation before terrorism became such an existential issue.

As terrorism`s has continued its desperate campaign to obliterate life in rural areas, medical personnel who take care of those most hit by the relentless attacks have not been spared.

It was only some months ago that the Director General of the Katsina State Primary Healthcare Development Agency lamented that about 69 primary Healthcare Development centers had been burnt as a result of the activities of terrorists.

  About two weeks ago, armed men struck at the Abdulsalami Abubakar General Hospital in Gulu, Lapai Local Government Area of Niger State where they kidnapped a medical doctor as well as a pharmacist after killing two villagers.

 Lamenting the abductions, the Niger State Chairman of the   Nigeria Medical Association, Dr. Yusuf Mohammed, while giving the State Government seven days within which to rescue the abductees or face industrial action, said that the state of insecurity in the state was hampering his members from working in remote locations.

 Now, it is no longer news that Niger State is one of the states most affected by insecurity in Nigeria.  Last year the abductions of over a hundred school children in Tegina and held captive for about 89 days sent shockwaves across the country. Earlier this year, dozens of security personnel who went to repel an attack on a mining site in Shiroro were brutally killed by terrorists. However, it is the string of attacks on medical personnel that may yet prove the most disturbing and most troubling.

 Nigeria`s health sector has long been in avoidable crisis.  One factor that has featured heavily in this crisis is the shortage of medical personnel to treat Nigeria`s over 200 million people.

 This shortage has been partly blamed on the brain drain which continues to see thousands of trained medical personnel leave the country every year to seek greener pastures elsewhere. The grim picture was recently painted by the figure which put the shortage at one doctor to 10,000 patients.

  It is this crisis that insecurity now seeks to exacerbate. The toll that insecurity has taken on Nigeria since terrorism became such a burning issue cannot properly be quantified.

  For many Nigerians, life as they knew it has been altered perhaps forever. With the disintegration of Nigeria`s security architecture has come food insecurity and also a shortage of critical life-saving healthcare.

  Until Nigeria does something definitive about the many criminals combing its countryside and turning rural communities inside out, Nigerians can never know anything closely resembling the good life.

Kene Obiezu,

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