• Monday, June 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

PMB’s unfairness stretches North West’s insecurity

Attack on Churches: Enemies out to stoke religious war – Buhari

WE joke with everything, almost everything. The otherwise important matter of insecurity has remained a huge joke with the polarised treatments of suspects. Months ago I noted that some criminals are better than others and are so treated.

Joke of the week was that President Muhammadu Buhari had summoned Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State over the burning of the country home of Professor George Obiozor, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo. Obiozor was abroad at the time of the incident. A police station was also burnt at Umunguma on the outskirts of Owerri. Both incidents are condemnable.

The next news was there could be a state of emergency in the South East, not just Imo State where the incidents happened. All lives are important. Are lives on the South East more important that almost everywhere is filled by security agencies.

This attitude is unfair to the residents of the North West the notorious centre of banditry, kidnapping and killing in the entire Federation. The seven States of the zone have the highest number of deaths and kidnappings. These incidents are addressed with levity.

State of emergency was never mentioned when 1,192 people were killed and 3,348 kidnapped in Kaduna State in 2021. These figures are from an official report the State Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan presented to Governor Nasir el-Rufai. Zango Kataf alone had 186 of the casualties.

Did the mayhems call for any security lockdown in the State? No. Was a change of the Governor suggested? Never.

At least 103 people were killed by bandits between March 6 and 12, including soldiers, policemen, and vigilantes in the North West. Kebbi State alone produced 83 of the deaths. Katsina, the President’s State had 12 deaths.

A death toll of over 200 people was reported in Zamfara State, also in the North West, in January. The attack lasted days. While the Air Force strafed bandits, they, in turn, attacked villagers and vigilantes that joined the fights against the fleeing criminals.

Sokoto has its attacks. Kano and Jigawa are the only States in the Zone that are relatively safe.

Nothing suggests that more is being done to make lives safer in the areas that suffer attacks, in some cases daily.

President Buhari said, “This egregious level of criminality is shocking and I want to assure Nigerians that I will do all it takes to tackle this monster decisively.

“My greatest preoccupation is the threat to life posed by these murderous gangs and remorseless outlaws who have no slightest regard for the sanctity of life,” he said after the said loss of 103 people.

Read also: Buhari hosts APC founding fathers, urges them to unite the party

Other incidents have taken place since then as if we have no regards for lives.

Why is the case of the South East different? Why are no bandits arrested and jailed in the North West? Kidnapping is a federal crime. Is the North West exempted from its implementation?

Leaders of these bandits are known. They attend meetings lugging dangerous weapons and posing for photographs with Governors and security agents. The assumed peace meetings have never produced any results.

Buhari has shown no decisiveness in tackling insecurity in the North West beyond statements. More insulting are insinuations that hurt the sensibilities of victims and their families. Major General Babagana Mungono, former Chief of Defence Intelligence, and National Security Adviser since July 2015, once blamed the attacked for not defending themselves.

The fixation with insecurity in the South East further insults millions of Nigerians in the North West which governments treat as an undisputable area zoned to criminals.

Finally…
LET’S rejoice with the All Progressives Congress (APC) for finally holding a national congress. The progressives are making progress.

GOVERNOR Chukwuma Soludo said his predecessor left N300 million cash, and N109b in debts. The figures could be higher with fuller reconciliation of the State’s finances. The figures Soludo quotes were by 31 December 2021.

WHAT will Nigeria be like if the police were on strike? Speculations are rife. From 26 March 2022 the police have served notice of withdrawing their services until there are improvements in their conditions of service, among them a minimum wage of N100,000 monthly.

CHANGE without progress is upon us – high prices of everything. Delegates to APC’s convention in Abuja must have felt it too. Their great party has led Nigeria beyond imaginations.

DOES anyone still remember that university teachers are on strike? Affected parents, students, and the striking ASUU know. There is nothing in the Electoral Act 2022 on ASUU. The Electoral Act is the only thing that matters these days.

WE are just days away from the deadline for submission of forms for the 2023 elections. One party chose Friday, 1 April 2022 as its deadline. May it not make a Fool’s Day of the matter.

OURS is a land of contradictions. Scarcity and high fuel prices could raise the unemployment statistics. Is anyone still counting those hawking fuel as unemployed?

IF you know what the police mean by “discrete investigation”, please tell me. Of late one has been wondering why some investigations would not be discrete.

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari cut short his medical trip to attend to major national issues. Nobody is talking about it. Were he to over-spend an hour abroad some would be shouting as if they were his London doctors. Welcome Mr. President. We missed you.

THE importance the authorities attached to a beauty pageant in Kirikiri as an aberration has resulted in the redeployment of a female police officer. Have you wondered why matters that affect us are never addressed with similar dispatch?

.Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues