Nigerians have reacted to the Federal Government’s announcement that bandits have killed 1,469 persons in the last eight months at of 2019.
They said the government has shown a high degree of insensitivity by allowing the so called bandits to continue to kill Nigerians without doing anything that will halt the rising trend.
The Nigerian Government on Thursday disclosed that 1,460 persons have been killed in 330 attacks by bandits across the nation in 2019.
Permanent Secretary in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Special Services, Amina Shamaki made this at the federal and states security administrators’ meeting in Kebbi state.
Shamaki said the north-west which was one of the most peaceful region before the bandit attacks, has remained a major source of concern even though the killings have been on the decline.
Her words; “From January to July, 2019, about 330 attacks were recorded, resulting to the death of about 1,460 civilians.
“However, between June and July, 2019, the number of incidents declined, especially in Zamfara state, that had been the epicentre of armed banditry.”
The permanent secretary also attributed the decline to the combination of “kinetic and non-kinetic measures” introduced in recent months, including getting criminals to lay down their arms.
“Application of the carrot and stick approach is an effective strategy that enables criminals wiling to embrace peace to do so while repentant ones are identified and isolated for appropriate actions by the security agencies,” she added.
“Another security concern is the porosity of our borders; the borders aided smuggling of small arms and light weapons from war-torn zones, including Libya and Central Africa Republic, terrorism, cross- border crimes, human trafficking, irregular migration and smuggling of migrants, among others.
“The federal government is doing a lot to improve border security with a view to addressing some of these challenges.”
However, Nigerians who took to the various social media platforms condemned the federal government saying the government may be endorsing the killings by their inactions.
One Nigerian, who gave his name as Livingstone Nwajah, said “the federal government wakes up every day to news of killings by bandits but continues to retain its security chiefs. This shows that this government does not value the lives of Nigerians. With this second term, the president should have overhauled its security apparatus”.
Another Nigerian, Patricia Ajayi said the Federal government is condoning the killings for reasons best known to it. According to her, the government should call a spade a spade and give the bandits the right and proper name.
“The so called bandits are the Fulani herdsmen who have been ravaging the country with killings and destruction in their trail. President Buhari has simply refused to arrest the situation and rather than send security agents after the herdsmen, he prefers to start calling them bandits while all Nigerians know that the killers across the various regions are the herdsmen,” Ajayi said.
A federal civil servant who pleaded anonymity, said Nigerian is currently under a siege and the government is clueless about the solution.
”I pity myself and my fellow Nigerians who are still in this country. Fulani herdsmen and other foreign herdsmen, kidnappers, bandits, ritual killers, fraudsters, armed robbers, Boko Haram terrorists and security agents have rounded up this country and are on rampage killing unarmed innocent Nigerians.
“The government is only thinking of how to make life unbearable to Nigerians by planning more hikes in electricity tariff and other social services. And the government continues to talk about next level and frightening Nigerians with it,” the civil servant said.