BusinessDay

Insecurity: Will the military fervor in Owo check killings in Nigeria?

In the last few weeks, Nigerians have been regaled with news about arrest of the masterminds of the Owo killings.

The Nigerian military has been celebrating the arrest of some people it said carried out the killing of many worshippers at St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State in June.

At a point, Nigerians were even told that a criminal that was among the Kuje jail break was among the perpetrators of that heinous act.

But the Owo incident had happened before the jail break, which shows lack of tact on the part of security agencies.

Over the years, Nigerians have been fed with lies just to create a false sense of activity and impression that something serious was being done to rein in the activities of the criminal elements.

Nigerians are tired of being hoodwinked with stories that are outright falsehood. In the Owo case, what is the essence of the excessive zeal that is being brought into announcing the arrest of those that killed innocent people?

“This is not where we want to see such show of strength. We would rather want to see that these senseless killings are nipped in the bud, and not after the harm had been done people begin to pull wool over our eyes. Foiling the committal of such crimes is what we want and not arresting vampires after they had sucked Nigerians’ blood,” a public affairs analyst had said last Friday.

By the way, there are allegations all over the country that those suspected to have killed innocent Nigerians in many parts of the country were arrested but left off the hook almost immediately. Governor Samuel Ortom has been saying that the killer herdsmen that overrun Benue communities seem to operate under the cover of some sorts of immunity, as they are never arrested by anybody.

Ortom has severally pointedly accused the Federal Government of pampering the criminals. He is not alone in this belief. Governor Edom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State recently addressed a press conference, flanked by his cabinet members, alleging that the criminals that had invaded the communities operated as though they had some higher powers shielding them. The governor cried out that those criminals were neither arrested nor prosecuted, despite the atrocious deeds they commit in society.

There seems to be some form of working in silos among the security agencies which also suggests that Intelligence sharing that should happen among them does not happen. It would also seem that the Military is delving unnecessarily into what ordinarily should be the jurisdiction of the Police.

Read also: Soon the world will see those behind Owo church attack – General Irabor

The Owo killing, for instance, should be handled by the Police because it is a Police affair to carry out investigations. But it does seem that the Military is saying that the Police have lost their relevance.

If it were a joint effort, why was the Police Inspector General not part of the briefings that have been going on over the matter of arrest of the perpetrators? Nigerians believe that it is not enough to come to the camera to reel out names of suspects which does not bring back the people brutally murdered while they went to worship; neither would that wipe away the tears from their grieving relations.

What will benefit Nigerians instead is to ensure that these senseless killings are nipped in the bud. Any effort that does not prevent the killing of human beings is a wasted effort and does not amount to anything.

For instance, there have been allegations that despite intelligence and warnings about an impending attack on the Kuje Correctional Centre, the security agencies did nothing to prevent the attack. It was also alleged that some officers were posted out before the arrival of the terrorists, which seems to suggest that there is more to the attack than meets the eye.

It was also said that information was received on the impending attack on the Nigerian train before it eventually. The ill-fated Abuja-Kaduna train and the passengers would have been saved if the relevant agencies were alive to their responsibilities.

In the last seven years, thousands of Nigerians have been killed in the most despicable manner. In one day, states like Benue, Plateau have lost about fifty to seventy people who were also given mass burial.

Up till this moment, Nigerians have not heard anything about the arrest or trial of those behind those massacres.

Two Sundays ago, eight members of a family were brutally killed in a community in Jos, Plateau State. Neither the police nor the military has disclosed the killers let alone arresting the brains behind the dastardly act. It is hoped that the same zeal the military is going about the “suspects’ arrest” will be deployed to ensuring that there will be no more senseless killings anywhere in Nigeria, henceforth.

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