Lagos – The year 2018 ushered in bloodletting, causing sorrows, pains and loses to several families and communities.
In fact, many people, including governments have lost count of deaths as a result of several unwholesome killings by gunmen.
On New Year eve, gunmen attacked and killed worshippers at Omoku in Rivers State returning from church. Residents flee the area in apprehension of further attacks. But military personnel were drafted to the community to restore normalcy.
The same day, at about 12.07am in Tsauni Gulere area of Sanga Local Government Council of Kaduna State, the Etum Numana II of Numana chiefdom, Dr Gambo Makama and his pregnant wife were murdered by gunmen suspected to be Fulani Herdsmen. They had travelled to the village to celebrate the New Year. Their death sparked off outrage and reprisal attack that was forestalled by police and military joint patrol that stormed the area.
Before then, on December 22, 2017 in Nindem village under Godogodo chiefdom of Kaduna State, unknown gunmen struck in the night, killing some villagers and destroying property. There was also a renewed attack on Ungwan Mailafiya in Gwong chiefdom of the state, where gunmen attacked and killed some villagers on Christmas eve.
The insecurity in Kaduna State was heightened on January 2, 2018, when gunmen violently abducted the paramount ruler of Ikulu nation, HRH Mallam Yohanna Kukah from his palace in Anchuna, Zangon Kataf Local Government. His abduction is a reflection of unwholesome killings and kidnappings all over the state.
Umbrella body of the Southern Kaduna people known as Southern Kaduna Peoples’ Union (SOKAPU) had expressed doubts in a statement over the sincerity of the relevant authorities in ending killings in the area.
The statement which was signed by the SOKAPU Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr Yakubu Kuzaman said, “we also urge government for more meaningful engagement in searching for more viable deterrents to these killings. We also urge the security personnel to increase their intelligence gathering and go after these terrorists rather than wait for them to attack”, it stated.
“SOKAPU is actually wondering why the Government continues to adopt the same strategy with regard to security in Southern Kaduna when such a strategy has not translated into stopping these attacks and killings.
Also in Bayelsa State on New Year Day, residents of Ndoro community in Ekeremor Local Government Area, flee their homes over apprehension of reprisal attack by military personnel, as a result of suspected militant who allegedly beheaded a security operative.
The security official whose identity was not immediately known because he was in mufti, was said to be negotiating with the suspected militant’s leader to surrender their arms when the incident occurred.
After deployment of military personnel to Ndoro, the state Commissioner for Information, Daniel Iworiso-Markson assured the fleeing residents to return back home. He disclosed that the state governor, Seriake Dickson met with top military officers and other top security officers and leaders of the community, and resolved that military personnel should move to the community to restore normalcy, while peace process was in progress.
The case of Benue State killings which started on January 2, 2018, by suspected Fulani herdsmen is still very fresh, which has become national concern.
Over 75 people including two mobile police officers have lost their lives, and over 40,000 people displaced, with property worth millions of Naira destroyed,
So far in Benue State, about 80,000 IDPs have been registered, while about 73 victims of the herdsmen attack were buried on Thursday.
President Mohammadu Buhari on Tuesday ordered the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris to relocate to Benue State, with a view to ending the killings and possibly arrest the perpetuators.
Before Buhari’s order, the military had moved into the state, while the IGP deployed additional 663 anti-riot policemen and created 10 Mobile Units to curb further insecurity in the state.
Last week, Idris told State House Villa reporters shortly after briefing Buhari on the Benue killings that. “Let’s use the example of Benue, you know most of these states where you have several languages, you know is an issue of communal misunderstanding. I think what we should be praying for is for Nigerians to learn to live in peace with each other, I think is very important.”
His statement on absolving the Fulani herdsmen from the Benue killings aroused outrage from the citizens.
However, on Wednesday he retracted his comments in absolving the herdsmen.
Again, just last weekend in Lau Local Government Area of Taraba State, over 55 people were killed by the same suspected Fulani herdsmen. Twenty five bodies were recovered and given mass burial.
Again the military personnel have been drafted to the area to avert further killings.
Also in some communities near Jos, Plateau State capital, the military are also on ground to assist the police and other security operatives to curb insecurity.
The killings and insecurity in the country appears to have overwhelmed the police, hence the swift deployment of military personnel to troubled communities.
So far the military should be commended for restoring peace in all the troubled communities across the country.
In the South-east, the army code named their security strategy against militia activities as, Operation Python Dance. Also in the South-south, it code named its strategy as Operation Crocodile Smile. The same Operation Crocodile Smile is on ground in the South-west.
It was the army that killed Don Waney in Enugu while trying to escape arrest. He was the mastermind of Omoku killings in Rivers State.
Deployment of the military to every security challenges in any part of the country, is an undisputable indication that the Nigeria police has failed in its statutory responsibility of protecting lives and property of the citizens.
The Benue killings had provoked so many citizens of the state and other Nigerians, calling on Buhari to sack the IGP for failing to brace up to his responsibility.
But the danger of deploying the military all over the country cannot be overemphasized. While the military should be commended for restoring peace in every troubled state or community, the government is underrating the possibility of the military eventually taking charge of leadership in the country through a palace coup.
In stead, the federal government should weed out the top hierarchy of the police, equip the police with sophisticated weapons, modern communication gadgets, training and re-training of officers and procure more helicopters for every state police command. So far only five helicopters are in operation to curb crime in the entire country, while three are on stand-by.
However, a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG) Yakubu Mohammed from Katsina State, who until two weeks ago was a member of the Police Service Commission (PSC) does not see anything wrong drafting the military into troubled areas.
He told CRIME TRACKER on phone on Thursday that, “the military can come into crisis areas if the police is overstretched. There is what we call IS (Internal Security) operation which involves the military when the police is overstretched.” He could not say if the police are overstretched in the current insecurity, but said, “only the IG who is on ground can say that.”
DIG Mohammed does not also see anything wrong with Buhari ordering the IG to relocate to Benue. He said, “that is a presidential order, after peace has returned to Benue the IG will go back to Abuja.”
Rtd AIG Ali Amodu who is back into the police on special investigation assignments and Rtd CP Olayinka Balogun also agreed with DIG Mohammed.
But retired DIG Udom Ekpoudom from Akwa Ibom State disagreed with Mohammed in the area of deploring the military to troubled communities. He told CRIME TRACKER on phone that “the police and the military are given different trainings. The police is trained to maim while the military is trained to kill.
When you deploy the military to crisis area, you are saying they should go and kill. This is not good at all.”
He urged the government to train and equip the police to be able to curb internal security challenges.
DIG Udom however commended President Buhari in ordering the IG to locate to Benue. He frowned at the killings in Benue saying that, “how can people be massacred in their own country and nothing happens”?
The post Deploring Military To Troubled Areas Dangerous –DIGs appeared first on Independent Nigeria.
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Author: Aruga Joe Omokaro