By Musa Ilallah
It is undoubtedly common knowledge that the country had since January this year up to the last few weeks witnessed an upsurge in crimes including banditry, kidnappings, cattle rustling, insurgency, mass killings, etc across all the geo political zones of the country.
Worst hit are Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto, Niger, Plateau, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa in the North and some other states in the South.
Such killings have no doubt given President Buhari and the Service Chiefs some sleepless nights.
Not unmindful of the enormous responsibility on his shoulders of preserving the sanctity of lives and properties of Nigerians, the President directed the Security Chiefs to re strategize and once and for all deal with the threats of security breaches in various forms and style engulfing several states of the federation.
They quickly swung into action and today the story is fast changing for the better as the challenges are almost nipped in the bud with the exception of pockets of breaches here and there.
It is therefore a thing of pride, joy and commendable that the security agencies have re-doubled their efforts to make the country safer for lives and livelihoods to thrive in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility since the presidential directive.
Sadly however, the voices that kept ranting that President Buhari has failed to secure lives and properties should resign at the peak of security breaches have now gone into voice mail with none of them acknowledging and noticing the positive improvement and the utmost need to commend the efforts so far and milestones covered in the onslaught against crimes and criminals.
Notable among such voices are the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, some international Non Governmental Organisations, INGO; civil society groups; some groups and individuals among others. In the spirit of fairness and justice, those condemning the security situation then need to now support the President and security agencies for the general improvement in the security of the country.
What really baffles one is the hypocrisy of all those accusing PMB of not doing enough or not doing anything at all to stop killings in the North East, North Central, Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Kaduna among others.
Now that security has improved and there are minimal or no killings in those places no one seem to be talking about them to appreciate PMB ‘s efforts.
However, what worries one most is the complete silence of the media in the visible improvement in the security of the country by refusing to write comments and editorials like they did when the situation was bad.
It is so dishonest for such groups and individuals to remain silent in the face of successes of crushing criminals by the armed forces in recent times.
Some of the recent successes recorded by the military in the fight against insurgency include the arrest of a high profile Boko Haram commander and his 4 wives during a clearance operation in their enclaves in Borno.
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, disclosed this while giving an update on the operation of Armed Forces in Abuja recently where he disclosed that 7 Boko Haram Commanders were eliminated in strike on 5 camps In Lake Chad.
In the words of Enenche: ”the success was as a result of sustained offensive by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole through air and ground operations on terrorists’ enclaves at different locations in Borno, Yobe, Taraba and Adamawa states.
According to him, the operations also led to the arrest of one Boko Haram fighter at Kamuya in Biu LGA of Borno, while nine other criminals were arrested including caches of arms and ammunition, equipment and motorcycles also recovered in Wukari LGA of Taraba state. It is also on record that troops repelled BHT/ISWAP attacks on civilians and own troops at Wajiroko in Damboa LGA of Borno where troops neutralised several of the terrorists and recovered arms and ammunition.
Also in the North West, Enenche disclosed that the troops of operations Hadarin Daji and Sahel Sanity had continued to dominate the general area leading to killing of seven bandits and rescuing of kidnapped victims in addition to rescuing 17 kidnapped victims from suspected bandits at Fankama and Sabon Layi area of Faskari LGA of Katsina State.
Also, troops of Operation Sahel Sanity while on patrol at Chabas, responded to a distress call and rescued a truck driver with 11 women and children who were on their way to Batsari Market but were kidnapped by suspected bandits along Shimfida – Gurbi Road in Katsina state.
Others include troops deployed at Dansadau arrested a suspected bandit on a motorcycle on his way to Dandalla village in Dansadau, Maru LGA of Zamfara with one pump action rifle and three live ammunitions. And in Kaduna state, the Air Component of Operation Thunder Strike killed several bandits at their meeting venue at Kwaimbana forest area, while two gunrunners were arrested in possession of 1,620 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition in Kudaru Hill along Kaduna-Jos Road in Lere LGA of Kaduna State to be delivered to a bandit leader, at a location in Dansadau LGA of Zamfara.
Equally, troops of Forward Operations Base Burukusuma patrol team killed seven armed bandits at Magira village of Zamfara while troops in conjunction with vigilantees arrested two bandits in possession of N1.3 million at Baworaje village in Talata Mafara LGA of Zamfara.
In North Central, the Coordinator disclosed that Troops of Operation Safe Haven raided suspected Sara-Suka criminals’ hideouts at Jenta Adamu, Rikkos, and Gangare Yan-Doya area of Jos North LGA, Riyom LGA and Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau state, where they made some arrests of suspects and arms leading to the arrest of 14 persons while 12 knives, 4 daggers, 4 mobile phones, two swords, assorted charms, a large quantity of substances suspected to be Cannabis Sativa, among other illicit drugs were recovered.
Despite all these successes by the military and the silence by wailers, one can confidently say that their call on PMB to resign is not only misplaced but one full of mischief, biases and politicisation.
Even President Muhammadu Buhari had told the United Nations that “Nigeria is still facing violent extremism from the insurgency of Boko Haram and bandits”, while delivering Nigeria’s National Statement, via video message, on the first day of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly Debate themed ‘The Future We Want, The United Nations We Need: Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism- Confronting Coronavirus Through Effective Multilateral Action.
The President urged world leaders to redouble efforts to ensure collective security, noting that the litany of sophisticated terrorist attacks across the globe was a harsh reality of the challenges the world was facing today.
He said Nigeria continued to count on her strong cooperation with the UN counter-terrorism bodies and neighbouring countries to overcome the terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin and the wider Sahel Region.
He said Nigeria would vigorously sustain the rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of victims of terrorism and insurgency in the northeast for which the North-East Development Commission had been established.
As a matter, President Buhari has said that Nigeria remained deeply concerned over the illicit trade, transfer and circulation of small arms and light weapons, particularly in Africa.
All said and done, PMB ‘s marching orders to Service Chiefs to do the needful to reverse the ugly trend in our security situation and the subsequent enforcement and compliance with the Presidential orders, one can confidently say that the situation is changing fast for the better.
Regretably, there is some disquiet in the rantings of the opposition and their accomplices in the civil society and NGO’s camps after the giant strides recorded by the armed forces in the security of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Mr Ilallah writes from Abuja