Nigeria is caught in a maelstrom. Ravagers roam across the land unchallenged, extracting tolls in tears and blood from citizens. They expropriate land and govern according to their lust for violence. There is hopelessness in the streets as the country sinks deeper and deeper into a bloodfest. Insecurity will be the toughest trial of the next administration.
Insurgency, banditry and kidnapping have become a quotidian aspect of the Nigerian life. Killings and kidnappings have persisted with each incident surpassing the previous in gruesomeness, audacity and ruthlessness.
Over 5,067 citizens were reported killed in 2021 – according to TheCable Index. 14 Nigerians were killed every day from January to December, 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, 1,743 Nigerians were killed — with Niger, Zamfara topping the list of victims. This figure surpassed the number of civilians reportedly killed in the first month of the Russia-Ukraine war.
Last Thursday, a divisional police officer (DPO) who was leading his men to rescue kidnap victims in Nasarawa was himself stolen by these dare-devil freebooters. His abductors demanded five million naira before he would be freed. What could be more embarrassing? A few days ago, some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were kidnapped on their farm. In Niger, Zamfara and Kaduna, citizens have resigned to a doomed existence. The situation appears hopeless.
Nigerians held high hopes for the Buhari administration because of the president’s promise to roll back the crushing boulder of insecurity. There was a surfeit of hope and trust in the president being a retired army general. But clearly, the administration is overwhelmed and has surrendered to the fierce and cold grip of these death-dealers from the netherworld.