WE join millions of Nigerians to express our dismay at the recent claim by Chief of the Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Yusuf Buratai, that Nigeria is safer now than it was five years ago. While at a sit-out programme with Wounded-In-Action, WIA, soldiers at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna on Sunday, July 26, 2020, Buratai was reported as telling the WIAs: “I am equally happy that we are living in peace and Nigeria is now safer than (sic) we had five years ago”. Really?
We wonder which Nigeria Buratai is referring to. We would also want Buratai to make public facts at his disposal to justify this provocative claim. Independently-verified facts at our disposal (which are also in the public domain and the glare of the world) paint a very different picture.
In 2015 when the Muhammadu Buhari-elected government assumed office and Buratai and other Service Chiefs were appointed, there was nothing like the North West “Bandits”.
What we had then were sporadic reports of cattle-rustling, which is a routine crime. In the five years referred to by Buratai, the North West “Bandits” have morphed into another full-scale criminal insurgency force. The North West “Bandits”, which reportedly had their origins in the dark plots of evil politicians, have expanded their operations from their original Zamfara forest hideouts and now operate in six states – Katsina, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger and of course, Zamfara
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