By Simon Reef Musa
In recent times, some communities in Nigeria, especially Kaduna State, have been turned into a hell on earth, with life becoming short and brutish that allows only the fittest to survive the times. Even Katsina, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, has not been spared of these monsters of death. There is a clear pointer that these blood-thirsty criminals are overstretching the capacity of security agencies that are daily being overwhelmed, thereby escalating the spates of insecurity ravaging our nation.
Just a fortnight ago, a community in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state came under attack by bandits. Faced with death, the men had taken to their heels, leaving behind their wives and daughters, among others. It took one week for rescue to come their way before they were reunited with their family members.
Since Monday May 11, 2020, many Adara communities in Kajuru LGA have come under serious attacks from these vicious brigands who have wreaked havoc and murdered innocent people in their sleep. One of the most horrendous of these attacks was the blitzkrieg on Gonar Rogo in Kajuru LGA. As residents of the peace-loving community retired to their homes last Monday’s night, these merciless murderers, armed with sophisticated fire power, unleashed their fangs of terror on this defenceless community. By the time their deadly exercise was over, no fewer than 17 were heartlessly slayed, including a 12-day old baby and its mother. Miraculously, a three-month old baby escaped death by the whiskers as a bullet was removed from its skull.
It was not yet over, as these deadly fiends re-enacted yet another scene of horror on Tuesday night in Bakin Kogi and Idanu. While the attackers narrowly missed residents of Bakin Kogi who had fled to safety, they completely destroyed the village. In Idanu, one person was killed and two critically injured. The following day, being Wednesday May 13, 2020, the terror gang continued on yet another killing spree in Makyali, a village located along the Kaduna-Kachia road. By the time the guns went silent, no fewer than eight parsons were killed. In all these attacks that took place within 48 hours in Kajuru communities, no fewer than 26 persons were massacred.
As at yesterday, Thursday May 14, 2020, a cloud of uncertainties have taken over most communities, as fear of impending attacks made villagers to scamper to neighboring towns for refuge.
Not many are wondering how these agents of death are finding it increasingly easier to move in large numbers to kill people and destroy towns and village. In a state known for its strict monitoring of COVID-19 shutdown order, not a few are surprised that Kaduna state is witnessing rising waves of killings and massive destruction of its communities, especially in the southern part.
Without any iota of doubt, government has the monopoly of violence. Where criminal groups rise to challenge this; it is expected that relevant authorities of government must rise up and rein in these outlaws and their bloody trails. It is a gross dereliction of duties on the part of government to watch in seeming helplessness as terrorists continue to destroy towns and villages and massacre peace-loving citizens without deploying urgent measures to stop these killers in their game.
From Birnin Gwari that is currently noted for its notoriety for all forms of criminalities by bandits in Kaduna State, this terror gangs are famed for their outright violation of citizenship right. When citizens are left to the cruel fate of these brutes, the march to lawlessness becomes unavoidable. The refusal by government to empower locales to defend themselves against these killer machines is a complete negation of what government stands for. To deny citizens the right to self-defence in the face glaring incapacity by security personnel to protect lives and property amount to granting right to heartless killers by government to massacre citizens
It is inscrutable that the government has refused allow Southern Kaduna communities to set up their Joint Task Force (JTF) in order to confront these death-carrying gangsters whose language is never far from ‘let’s kill and destroy’. That these killings have continued unabated, while hundreds of internally displaced persons are left to fend for themselves, prognosticates frightful days ahead in a country blessed with leaders without empathy.
More than the brunt of these attacks on victims, the silence of elected representatives have been most painful. The uncommunicativeness embraced by Southern Kaduna political leaders as sword of death has left many butchered in cold blood is a worrying pointer that democracy has not only failed, but has been reduced to a commercial venture for only self-serving politicians.
Even our revered traditional rulers cannot find their voices in calling government to intervene. Critical groups have all embraced the option of silence to avoid clashing with agents of government opposed to further exposure on the flowing bloodshed that our communities have been turned into. A government that cannot ensure the protection of the weak against the strong cannot claim to be a democracy.
It is obvious that our democracy has demonstrated gross incapacity in protecting lives and property. Nigerians cannot continue to cry helplessly over these streams of avoidable bloodshed that have undermined national development and turned many citizens into frightening objects.
If Nigerians must survive these evil times, government must wake up from its self-inflicted slumber and rein in the lethal activities of these criminals that have decimated communities across the country. We need not continue to dissipate energies on the true identities of these human slaughterers. All we need now is to render them impotent and save incoming generations from encountering a dreadful future. The time seems to be running out on our chances to save our country from a fixed march towards self-destruction.
The blood of the innocent has become a scar on our national conscience. The coldblooded murder of citizens and decimation of our communities are prognoses of a horrific national tragedy. We cannot have effective strategies without engaging victims of these barbaric attacks for home-grown solutions in order to save them from these homicidal demons.
As Nigeria continues to battle COVID-19 pandemic, allowing this ceaseless bloodshed ripping across our communities, made possible by the activities of these vicious criminals, can only culminate into national cataclysm that may serve as a signpost for the disintegration of the country.