• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

Kaduna pupils’ abduction: Angry Nigerians tell Tinubu to rejig security strategy

…Knock Akpabio’s claim on improved security

Angry Nigerians have urged President Bola Tinubu to urgently rejig his security strategy and possibly lay off dead woods in the security agencies.

The call followed the kidnapping of over 250 pupils, students and teachers by suspected terrorists in Kaduna State last Thursday, which observers said was an indication of failure of governance.

The citizens are worried that despite the appointment of new service chiefs, and regular security meetings with the President, there has not been significant improvement in security situation.

They wondered why the Tinubu administration and security agencies have failed to act on intelligence and use technology to check crime in the country.

Read also: Bandits attack Kaduna primary school, abduct dozens of pupils including 8-year-olds

Last Thursday, terrorists had attacked Government Secondary School and LEA Primary School at Kuriga, Kaduna State, at about 8am, abducting hundreds of pupils and teachers.

The abduction has since triggered public outrage across the country and beyond, with notable Nigerians condemning the incident and calling for their urgent rescue by the Federal Government.

The incident took place a day after Godswill Akpabio, Senate President, had boasted that insecurity had trended downwards in the country since May 29 last year.

But observers had accused Akpabio of engaging in half-truth and misleading the public.

They recalled that in recent months, there have been reports of kidnapping incidents, missing persons, and wanton killing in some states of the North Central region of Nigeria.

Recently, two monarchs were murdered in Ekiti State, a development that caused an uproar in the country.

The Amnesty International, the Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, the Nigeria Union of Teachers, and the House of Representatives have condemned the Kaduna attack and asked the government to rescue the victims immediately.

The abduction followed worsening security situation and kidnapping for ransom which have exacerbated in recent times across the country.

Every part of Nigeria is grappling with insecurity and crime, but the North East, North West, North Central and South East region have faced more cases than South West and South South.

Last Tuesday, over 200 internally displaced persons (IDPs) were abducted from their camps in Ngala LGA of Borno State.

Penultimate Thursday, bandits invaded the Gonin-Gora in the same Chikun LGA, prompting residents to barricade the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway in protest against the abduction of an unspecified number of people in the area.

The irony for some Nigerians is that despite all the assurances from the President, the appointment of new service chiefs, regular security meetings and allocation of more funds to fight insecurity in the country, it seems the non-state actors are now more emboldened to carry out heinous crimes unhindered.

This comes despite repeated assurances by President Tinubu to prioritise security, but the situation appears worsening with data showing over 3,000 people killed between May 2023 and March 2024.

Nigerians are baffled that while the National Security Adviser (NSA) and Defence Minister hail from Northern Nigeria, they have failed to take proactive measures to check the spate of insecurity and killings in that part of the country.

“Our people are killed daily brutally, it is so sad and shameful we don’t value human lives here. Things are getting out of hand.

I think they are overwhelmed, because I don’t understand what the President is doing. I had thought President Tinubu would tackle the spate of insecurity with vigour and new strategies, but things seem to be worsening in an alarming proportion,” Michael Odun, public affairs analyst, said.

Observers also said that the President needs to move swiftly and replace non-performing security officials to check the trend.

Stan Labo, a security expert, said President Tinubu was yet to show the political will to tackle insecurity in the country, noting that the current situation is just like the Buhari era.

“The political will to tackle insecurity is lacking; we are beginning to see semblance of what happened in the last administration; the political will is weak.”

Some Nigerians have canvassed foreign military support since it is becoming obvious that the nation’s security agencies are overstretched, overwhelmed and cannot handle the situation alone.

“We have been on this terrorism for a decade now or more and we have not won, but it is getting out of hand; they are even more emboldened now.

“Our people are killed daily, I’m advising President Tinubu to seek foreign military assistance, we should keep pride aside, it is getting out of hand,” Uwem Ekong, public policy analyst, said.