Worried by the spike in insecurity resulting in multiple loss of lives and properties in the country, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has called on the Federal Government to change its style and confront the challenges headlong, suggesting ways out of the incessant kidnapping.
Afenifere spoke against the background of the latest kidnapping, terrorism and armed robbery incidents happening in various parts of Nigeria including the South-West.
The group, in a statement on Saturday by its National Publicity Secretary, Jare Ajayi, expressed regret that the government under the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari is not doing enough to stop terrorism and kidnapping incidents festering on a daily basis.
The statement recalled the kidnapping of about 30 children working on a farm in Mairuwa village in Katsina State, the abduction of travellers on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway including Prof. Adigun Agbaje, former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, the killing of dozens of people in Benue State, the killing of a NECO staff by armed robbers on the campus of the University of Ibadan, Ibadan mid-week and the abduction of four travellers in Ekiti as well as the insistence of terrorists that farmers must pay them taxes before they (farmers) can access their farms in Niger and Katsina States. Farmers were also kidnapped on Iseyin-Ipapo Road in Oke Ogun.
Ajayi recalled that President Buhari while presenting this year’s budget before the National Assembly in early October, gave the assurance that insecurity would be substantially curtailed before his tenure comes to an end next year.
But since then, incidents of kidnapping, banditry, terrorism etc have escalated. The situation became so dire that some countries have designated Nigeria as a terrorism-prone area to be kept at an arm’s length.
Governments of the United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, etc have asked their citizens to stay away from Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital. To underscore the seriousness they put to the terror indications that they saw, some of these governments are even evacuating some of their diplomatic staffers.
While acknowledging the reported efforts of security agencies at checkmating the antics of bandits and terrorists, Ajayi submitted that the intensity, regularity and ferocity of terrorism acts in the country “tend to suggest that the terrorists and bandits are ahead of the government in the game. Whereas the opposite was supposed to be the case.”
The spokesman expressed confidence that the government can tackle the problem by allowing states that are so desired to have their own police services. This should devolve down to the local and community levels.
“Stop the kid glove treatment being given to arrested bandits and terrorists.
“Expedite action on the trials of apprehended terrorists and bandits. Clearly demonstrate that we are all equal before the law and that no individual, group or tribe should enjoy preferential treatment over and above others.
“Needed equipment and incentives should be provided for security agencies to enable them to discharge their duties responsibly.
“That machinery be set in motion quickly to have the country restructured in such a manner that every region or area would be operating under a true federal system.
Afenifere reminded those in authority that providing security and welfare were the primary duties of government.
“Unfortunately, the government has not lived up to expectations in these and many other respects. President Buhari can ameliorate the situation within the few months that his administration still has,” he said.