By Polycarp Gbaja
This attack that occurred hours ago is far from being an accident or over.
The patterns and manners of operations over the years show it is deliberate, intentional & strategic.
So also is its timing before the Easter period. Ramadan is about to begin this weekend or thereabout.
They strategically moved into this location, in a defined manner months ago, as alerted by the civil defense circular, to this effect. Rijana is within one hour to Abuja.
This terrorist militia is a hybrid of Boko Haram units in the Shiroro area and the so-called Fulani herdsmen militia, who have ruled unchallenged in that area for the past decade and taken control of large swaths of land in Niger state and the Abuja-Kaduna motorway.
Which is why the ‘safest’ way, in the past few years for the mass of people to travel Abuja-Kaduna, has been via this lone rail route. It wasn’t a matter of if, but rather when, that option would be challenged, as we have seen in recent months.
The rumbling before a cataclysmic eruption can be felt by all, even if we choose to live in denial and delusions. That Nigerians would live under such siege next to the capital city of Abuja, for over five years brings some critical questions to the fore.
Why the ‘kid gloves’ approach to sworn terrorists of Boko Haram and the Fulani Militia, who have operated in this entire area/region, with total impunity, in the past decade? Why are these known attackers always on the offensive and federal forces always caught sleeping and on the defensive?
Something is deeply wrong with the ruling government, if the security and sanctity of the entire region surrounding the federal capital, on all its sides – Kaduna, Niger, Kogi, Benue, Nassarawa, Benue & Plateau states, could come under such sustained, blatant terrorist attacks, every week, in the past decade.
These are long preludes and premiers of a very bad and evil plot and agenda, in plain sight. And it is being handled without the seriousness & competence it deserves.
There is a palpable feeling by many, of an apparent betrayal of trust, by the government of the day, to live up to its primary duty and mandate, to secure lives, property and opportunity for its citizens.
The terrorists are well known gunmen. Even Governor el rufai has said repeatedly, government knows where they are. A nation with over 200 million people of varying capacity, clearly cannot claim incapacity to deal with the insurgents running roughshod over its land. There is neither a lack of intelligence or capacity, but rather of seriousness and political will to do the needful.
We must all arise to do whatever it takes, to bring this mess to a stop. We must together, in small or large formations, now take responsibility and clear measures against this war visited upon the Nigeria people and state and bring it down summarily.
The impending security meltdown is palpable, frightening and upsetting. It is unnecessary, shameful and inexcusable, for a country with Nigeria’s capacity.
▪︎ Gbaja, a reverend gentleman, is a public commentator & sent this via WhatsApp