As Nigerians grapple with hardship occasioned by the lingering fuel scarcity, inadequate power supply and inflation, widespread insecurity has also continued to claim innocent lives and properties in several parts of the country.
Two days ago, armed men, otherwise known as “bandits”, reportedly attacked the Kaduna airport, killing a security guard and temporarily halting air traffic before being repelled by security forces. Their activities have continued to fester, especially in the northern part of the country, despite the government proscribing and declaring them terrorists.
The latest attack by armed persons Monday evening on a Kaduna-bound train conveying hundreds of passengers from Abuja at the Katari-Rijana axis is the latest of several attacks targeted at commuters and innocent residents in the state and elsewhere in the country.
The assailants reportedly injured several commuters, while some were kidnapped before security intervention, and signal an unfortunate event, as Nigerians can no longer freely travel on the roads, which has long been taken over by bandits in some parts of the country.
This is a calculated attempt to further cripple the economy that is already bleeding from inflation and the high cost of doing business due to fuel and diesel scarcity, leaving the poor masses in perpetual fear and poverty.
The past few days’ events have shown the nation’s security response to be reactive rather than proactive, leaving casualties in each of the reported cases at the airport and the railway before security interventions.
SING Nigeria is calling for a result based security management, and a change of security chiefs as events of the past few days have shown they can no longer deliver on their mandates of protecting lives and properties of Nigerians.
The President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari should also understand that the task of securing Nigerians rests on his shoulders; hence, we are also urging the President to immediately give clear security direction and follow through to implementation in order to restore confidence of Nigerians.
We demand the strengthening of security in the affected states, especially Kaduna to forestall a descend into lawlessness and anarchy. Also,there should be increased security presence at flashpoints like the airports, railway stations & tracks, and major highways so that Nigerians can freely go about their day-to-day activities in the interim while lasting solutions are sought.
The security agencies should harmonise intelligence and information sharing mechanisms for proactive responses to planned attacks by bandits; as we call on the government to address the issues of structural inequalities, poverty, poor education, small arms and light weapons trafficking, and its negligence to permanently deal with insecurity in the country.
The current level of young people’s involvement in criminality is directly linked to idleness, poverty, and unemployment. Therefore, the government and stakeholders must focus on rapid human capital development so that young people can be less susceptible to use by agents of societal destabilisation.