Only recently, Nigeria was plunged into one of its bloodiest moments in recent times. Hell was let loose on Nigeria with criminality and killings. It was indeed a coincidence that the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, raised the alarm about the security situation in the North and just as his concern was being relayed, the massacre of innocent rice farmers in Zabarmari village in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State was announced.
While the Sultan was raising the red flag against the vexatious lingering insecurity, some students of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria on a trip down South were waylaid and kidnapped on the notorious Abuja-Kaduna Expressway. Reports have it that some ransom was paid by their parents before the abductors released them.
Sultan Abubakar speaking on the situation said: “Security in northern Nigeria has assumed a worrisome situation… A few weeks ago, over 76 persons were killed in a community in Sokoto in a day. I was there alongside the governor to commiserate with the affected community.
“People think the North is safe, but that assumption is not true. In fact, it’s the worst place to be in this country. Because bandits go around in the villages, households, and markets with their AK-47. They stop at the market, buy things, pay and collect change, with their weapons openly displayed. These are facts I know because I am at the centre of it”.
Just a few days to the Borno killings and abduction of several women, many people were killed in Kaduna State while a first-class traditional ruler in Ondo State, the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Israel Adewusi, was killed in cold blood by suspected kidnappers who ambushed his car around Elegbeka along the Owo-Ifon Road.
It was the second high profile killing on that axis within over a year after Mrs Funke Olakunrin, daughter of the late leader of the Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, was killed in a similar gruesome manner by armed bandits who turned out to be killer-herdsmen who double as kidnappers along the Ore-Ondo highway on July 12, 2019.
A totally devastated Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, described the killing of the first-class traditional ruler in the state as heinous, maintaining that the gory killings were an indication that the country was in a serious security crisis beyond the ordinary.
The killings were not only limited to Borno and Ondo States, Kaduna, Rivers,Imo and Ogun States, among others, also had their shares of the killings as hoodlums, bandits and insurgents took full control, killing and maiming innocent Nigerians, leaving in their trail tears, sorrow and blood.
For many Nigerians, death has, perhaps, become the cheapest thing as it comes very handy at almost every street corner, with armed criminals lurking everywhere, waiting to strike at the slightest opportunity.
We opposed these killings and urged other well-meaning individuals and global organisations to stand with us against these senseless killings in our land.
We condemn this spate of unwarranted loss of lives across the country amid the seeming helplessness of the authorities.
We commend the Federal Government for reacting to the Borno killings with a marching order to the Nigerian Army to move in and rout the insurgents and urge that we must wait for them to strike before taking a decisive front against them.
We are concerned that the recent killings are coming just a few days after the 2020 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) indicated that Nigeria, for the second year, remains the third most terrorized country in the world, a report that is quite damning.
While the report noted that the total number of deaths from Boko Haram increased by 25 percent from 2018 to 2019, stressing the nation has become second to record a fall in violent deaths after Afghanistan in 2019. Even at that, it is not an impressive record. We must all stand against it.