The northern socio-cultural group, the Arewa Consultative Forum, has raised the alarm on the increasing spate of kidnappings and killings by gunmen in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna states and other parts of the country.
However, socio-cultural groups in the country have blamed the Federal Government for increased criminality across the country.
They claimed that nepotism in appointments, particularly in the leadership of the nation’s security architecture, bad economic policy that had led to job loss and connivance of criminals with some security operatives and impunity being allegedly encouraged by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration were responsible for the trend.
The spokesman for the ACF, Muhammad Biu, in a statement on Thursday in Kaduna, described the kidnappings and killings by gunmen as disturbing.
He said, “The ACF and indeed Nigerians are disturbed by reports of the spate of kidnapping of innocent people on the highways and frequent attacks on villages by some bandits, which have led to the loss of hundreds of innocent lives particularly in the northern part of the country.
“The recent frequent kidnappings and attacks on the people, especially along the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway and many villages in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Kaduna states as well as many parts of the country are cruel, barbaric and inhuman.
“The ACF, therefore, condemns these unwarranted and unbridled kidnappings and killings of people by some unknown gunmen. This is a serious challenge to the government, our military and other security agencies as the spate of attacks is getting vicious and unacceptable.
“The military joint task force and other security operational command bases in Zamfara, Sokoto and other states set up to combat the bandits’ activities in the North need to redouble their efforts in order to put an end to this daily loss of innocent lives and destruction of property.
“The ACF also calls upon the security agencies to employ new strategies and intelligence gathering needed to effectively smoke out the kidnappers and bandits from their enclaves and hideouts. The police force should deploy more troops in the affected states and highways to not only repel attacks but go after the perpetrators and bring them to book.
“The ACF appeals to the Federal Government to seriously re-examine its security apparatus and take adequate measures that will increase the number of police personnel, train them and provide equipment and other logistic support to effectively tackle this menace.”
Insecurity, result of appointments based on nepotism – Ohanaeze
But reacting to the trend, the apex-Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, described the spate of kidnappings and resurgence of killings either by bandits or herdsmen as the failure of the nation’s security architecture.
The group said that the Federal Government should address the kidnappings and killings now that elections were over.
The President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who spoke to one of our correspondents in Enugu, warned that the inaction of the government on the killing of Nigerians in some parts of the country would consume the nation.
While regretting that the culture of death was becoming part of our daily lives, Nwodo charged the government to do something before it was too late, adding that elections were over.
Nwodo said that what was happening was a result of incompetence of the security chiefs to protect and defend the integrity and sanctity of Nigerian lives.
He stated, “Where merit is sacrificed on the altar of ethnicity, tribalism and nepotism, the result is what you see. Nigeria rewards ineptitude than hard work.
“The Federal Government should take serious steps to arrest the ongoing carnage before total anarchy and mayhem consume the entire nation.
“This persistent devaluation of human lives and property poses an existential threat to our personal survival and that of our nation. How can government continue to appear helpless in the face of such shameful tragedy?” the Ohanaeze asked.
Tiv group indicts security personnel
On his part, the President General of Mndzogh U Tiv, Chief Edward Ujege, indicted security personnel for the rising insecurity in the country .
Ujege, who spoke to one of our correspondents on the phone, regretted the continuous rise in loss of lives and destruction of property.
He said one of the major reasons crimes continued to rise was as a result of corruption which, he said, had eaten deep into the security agencies.
According to him, whenever a criminal is arrested, the same criminal finds his way out of the police custody without punishment.
He said, “Insecurity in the country will continue to rise because those saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives are accomplices of criminals.
“Whenever a criminal is arrested, he is allowed to go unpunished the moment he is able to compromise the security man who apprehends him.”
Go beyond distributing N5,000 to Nigerians, Afenifere tells FG
However, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, has advised the Federal Government to find a solution to the level of poverty in the country, saying it is the extreme poverty that increases insecurity in the country.
The Publicity Secretary of the association, Mr Yinka Odumakin, said there was a need for the government to first address the issue of poverty before it could find solution to insecurity.
He said, “It is very important for the government to address the level of poverty and human misery in Nigeria. If you look at some revelations that have been coming out in recent time, we are now one of the countries where life is miserable in the world.
“Today, we are now the country of almajiris and the government is not doing anything about it beyond somebody going to the markets to distribute N5, 000. What is the meaning of that? Many people are jobless that is why they are committing crimes. You know, an idle hand is the devil’s workshop.
“Crime will continue to rise as long as the government is about government and not about the people. The government must address the level of human misery in this country for crimes to reduce.”
Sack security chiefs now, IYC tells Buhari
Also, the Ijaw Youth Council has called on President Buhari to do away with the current security chiefs if he (President) is serious about fighting kidnapping and other violent crimes in the North and other parts of the country.
The IYC president, Eric Omare, told one of our correspondents that there was the need for a shake-up in Nigeria’s security architecture.
He said, “I think the call on Buhari by the ACF to redouble his efforts in fighting kidnapping is a welcome development. Apart from kidnapping, other crimes, especially the menace of Boko Haram and the killings in the North should also be tackled.
“President Buhari has treated the issue of security chiefs with kid gloves. If you have given the security chiefs an assignment and they are not bringing results, you must consider whether to continue with them or to do away with them.
“In my view, to continue using the same security chiefs that are not giving you result is not going to help us. There is a need for a shake-up in the security architecture of the country. By that, I mean that the leadership of those security agencies need to be shown the way out since they have failed to deliver on their mandate.”