Bandits ravaging states in northwest Nigeria appear to be growing in strength and boldness daily despite the efforts of security operatives in the zone. The merchants of violence seem to be daring the combined team of the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police recently constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari to flush out bandits from the northwest while the military continue to contend with the Boko Haram terrorists in the northeast. The upsurge of the bandits in the circumstance of military operations in the north seemingly complicates the efforts and commitment of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who not only encouraged sustained army bombardments of the societal outcasts but personally reassigned himself to participate in leading operations. The Army Chief of Staff had recently expressed his disagreement with negotiation with bandits, insisting on military combatant to cleanse them from their operational space. In so far as Lt. Gen. Buratai in his modest commitment to restoring security in the country, the results have not been encouraging even to the presidency. Perhaps, some Nigerians of goodwill had to ask: is there sabotage in the military operations, probably, in the absence of Buratai from a given operational unit? What is it that have been making the bandits more confident in invading communities and displacing the indigenes?
The sad story of several corpses deposited at the mortuary of Sabon Birni General Hospital, after a deadly operation of bandits in Sokoto raises fresh questions about Nigeria’s architecture.
It was gathered that about 60 persons were killed last Wednesday night when some gunmen attacked Garki, Katuma and Kuzari villages in Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto State. Many indigenes were identified to have sustained serious injuries, and were taken to the General Hospital, Sabon Birni, for treatment.
The lucky survivors were seen fleeing their communities with their livestock for safety.
The bandits were said to struck again on Monday in Faji, Lanjegu, Kadaye, Marakawa and Garin Ahmadu villages, about 15 to 20 kilometres from Sabon Birni, killing 18 people.
Reports indicated that beside the bandits, herdsmen also invade communities to attack the indigenous farmers who attempt to prevent them breeding their cows and destroying their farmlands. Few indigenes were, however, said to form vigilante groups to defend their territories and protect their communities, which in some cases lead to bloodshed and collateral damages.
It will be recalled that at the last meeting President Muhammadu Buhari held with the service chiefs at the State House, Abuja, the president furiously declared that there would be no more excuses, giving marching order to the head of the various units of the armed forces to tame the rising insecurity in the country.
However, the Air Force have been devastating several locations of the merchants of violence in the northeast and the northwest, while the Nigerian Army have also been making progress in sweeping ground battle.
The Army appear to be at higher risk of confrontation in the entire violence, including the Police. The frequency of attacks and destructions indicate clear signal that more is expected from the Army Chief of Staff, Buratai, who is leading the ground battle, and by extension, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who is coordinating internal security of the country.