With 25 days to go, Nigerian security forces are facing a race against time to meet the December 31, 2022. deadline President Muhammadu Buhari gave to heads of security agencies to end terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes in the country.
The federal government had in October said insecurity bedeviling the country would be over by December.
Minister of the Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who gave the assurance during a joint ministerial briefing in Abuja, said President Buhari had given a December deadline for the security forces to restore order and stability in all parts of the country.
According to the minister, the President said he would not leave the country without curtailing and effectively addressing the security challenges.
Quoting the president, Aregbosola said: “He gave the deadline of total elimination of such threats to the security of lives and property by December. I believe that nobody is resting in all the arms of the government with the mandate of maintaining law and order, guaranteeing security and eliminating threats.
“We are at it, and in the first instance, we must ask ourselves, governance is about ensuring security of lives and properties. We will eliminate all insecurity issues by December. If you look at the state of affairs in Nigeria, I’ll tell you that a whole lot of progress had been made over the years.”
Apparently in line with this target, the military on 14th November, 2022 declared 19 notorious terrorists wanted and placed a N5 million bounty on each amounting to N95 million for information that would lead to their arrest.
However, 22 days after, the terrorists have continued to maintain control of their known territories and receive levy from farmers despite the bounty on their heads.
According to military sources, none of the 19 terrorists has been arrested since the declaration and bounty offer.
The source said the military high command knows what exactly is the problem but does not have the willpower to end it.
But the secretary general, International Institute of Professional Security (IIPS), Dr. Abdullahi Mohammed Jabi, described the assurance as a mere “political statement.”
He said though the military had made some gains in the fight, more still needs to be done to address remote causes of the crisis.
He said some of the problems are social and require non-military approaches to end them.
“Though a lot of things are being put in place, it’s going to be gradual because the challenges are enormous.
“It is an inherited problem by this present administration and it’s going to be handed over to the incoming government, but for now, they should just do what they can do within their power to make sure that they create wealth and make sure that money is in circulation, that people can afford a minimum of two square meals as against zero meal now”.
He said when wealth is created and people are able to feed, the tension will reduce and then the country will be able to prepare for an election where Nigerians can determine who they want to lead them in 2023 and beyond.
He lauded gallant men of the armed forces: “I give it to our military men; they are doing their best, they have flushed a good number of the bandits; they are still waging the war and challenging the invaders, terrorists and we are seeing results.
“We need to pray and support our military to ensure that they give in their best while the necessary incentives are given to them to do the job”.
While calling for more equipment, he said the air bombardments and land assaults were yielding positive results.
“I know the war is winnable, but not the way it is being prosecuted now; it can’t work like that. It will take time for us to surmount the challenge. It is multifaceted: there is social problem, lack of skills, unemployment and lack of educational,” he said
The Director of Defence Information (DDI), Major General Jimmy Akpor, told LEADERSHIP that two of the wanted terrorists had been killed in military bombardments.
“I don’t have records now but I’ve also sent a message out for confirmation. When I get it, I’ll send to you, but I remember within the same week we sent out the banner, there were some bombardments that resulted in the death of either one or two of them,” he said
Those allegedly killed as inferred by the DDI, according to LEADERSHIP’s findings, are Halilu Sububu from Sububu Village in Maradun LGA of Zamfara State, and Gwaska Dankarami from Shamushele village in Zuri LGA of Zamfara State.
One of the wanted terrorists had been on police list since 2019.
Ado Aliero was turbaned Sarkin Fulani by the emir of Yantodo in Zamfara State in July 2022 under the supervision of government officials and security personnel.
He was turbaned two years after the Nigerian Police declared him wanted and placed a N5m bounty on his head for killing and maiming residents of Zamfara State.
Again, one of the wanted terrorists, Bello Turji, last week mocked the military for not killing him despite the bounty, adding that the military raids pose a threat to the peace deal between him and the locals in Zamfara State.
Those on the wanted list include: Sani Dangote from Dumbarum village in Zurmi LGA of Zamfara; Bello Turji Gudda from Fakai in Zamfara; Leko from Mozoj village in Mutazu LGA of Katsina State; Dogo Nahali from Yar Tsamiyar village in Kankara LGA of Katsina state; and Halilu Sububu from Sububu Village in Maradun LGA of Zamfara.
Others include Nagona from Angwan Galadima in Icsa LGA of Sokoto state; Nasanda from Kwashabawa Village in Zurmi LGA of Zamfara; Isiya Kwashen Garwa from Kamfanin Daudawa village of Faskari in Katsina state; Ali Kachalla, a.k.a. Ali Kawaje from Kuyambara village in Dansadau Maru of Zamfara
Also on the list are Abu Radde from Varanda village in Batsari LGA of Katsina state; Dan-Da from Varanda village in Batsari LGA of Katsina; Sani Gurgu from Varanda village in Batsari LGA of Katsina; Umaru Dan Nigeria from Rafi Village in Mada District of Gusau, Zamfara; Alhaji Ado Aliero from Yankuzo village in Tsafe LGA of Zamfara; Monore from Yantumaki Village in Dan LGA, Katsina state; Gwaska Dankarami from Shamushele village in Zuri LGA of Zamfara; Baleri from Shinkafi LGA of Zamfara; Mamudu Tainange from Varanda village in Batsari LGA of Katsina state, and Nagala from Maru LGA of Zamfara.
Originally published in Leadership