Over 1,000 kidnapped
Insecurity: Military operations ongoing in 34 of 36 states
By Nnamdi Ojiego
Across the world, 100 days is usually marked by public officials. It is an occasion to showcase achievements during the period and highlight plans for the future.
It is only four days to 100 days since the current Service Chiefs took office on January 26, 2021, precisely 96 days.
So what achievements have been recorded in the 96 days of the Service Chiefs?
96 days may be short to say what the future portends especially when you cannot determine the tenure of the officials concerned in a country where tenures are sometimes extended depending on the whims of the leader who appointed them.
But in the case of the officials concerned, no fewer than 741 Nigerians have been killed across the country by suspected Boko Haram terrorists, herdsmen, bandits and arsonists in the first 96 days of their tenure.
Their appointment on January 26, 2021 had followed nationwide calls for the sack of their predecessors.
Why? Insecurity was getting out of hand.
Terrorism by Boko Haram was raging in the North-East, banditry in the North-West and North-Central, while the three southern regions contended with kidnapping and killer herdsmen menace.
So loud was the agitation for then Service Chiefs to go that the National Assembly joined in the clamour for their exit.
Major-General Lucky Irabor was appointed as Chief of the Defence Staff; Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of the Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of the Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of the Air Staff.
They succeeded former Service Chiefs whose nearly six-year tenure mostly witnessed insecurity across Nigeria.
The appointment of the security helmsmen brought hope for better security.
However, findings conducted by Sunday Vanguard showed that security in Nigeria is still a scarce commodity since January 26.
At the last count, 414 people have been killed across Nigeria since that date.
Worst hit states are Borno, Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, Sokoto and Niger.
This is despite the fact, according to security sources, that the military is engaged in internal security duties in 34 of the 36 states across the country.
“The fact that the military, which primarily is vested with the protection of the territorial integrity of Nigeria and containing external aggression, is now the one doing the police and other law enforcement job of internal security in most states, shows the gravity of the situation”, one of the sources said.
Meanwhile the 741 killed since January 26 represent only reported cases in the media.
January 27: One killed as Shi’ites, police clash in Abuja over El-Zakzaky
January 27: Gunmen kill two policemen, one other, abduct 14 in Taraba, Kogi and Delta states.
February 6: Man, wife, daughter killed inside a church in Anambra community
February 8: Gunmen go on the rampage in Kaduna, Delta, Taraba and Abuja, killing 20 and injuring many.
April 9: Anglican priest, wife, maid, killed in Abia State.
February 10: Suspected bandits kill 23 in five Kaduna Local Government Areas, LGAs.
February 11: Gunmen kill a policeman, injure four in Taraba
February 16: Four killed as herdsmen attack Plateau villages
February 17: Suspected bandits kill village head, 10 others in Niger State.
February 18: Suspected bandits kill students, abduct 42 in Niger State.
February 19: Suspected bandits kill one, injure two, and abduct 10 in Niger State.
February 22: Suspected bandits kill father, son, four others in Kaduna communities.
February 25: 18 killed in Kaduna as suspected bandits attack soft targets
February 25: Kidnappers kill four officers in Calabar.
March 2: Suspected bandits kill 20 in Sokoto and Kaduna communities.
March 3: Suspected bandits kill seven in Kaduna and Niger.
March 11: Suspected bandits kill 10 villagers in Zamfara State.
March 14: Wife of a former Police Commissioner hacked to death in Makurdi, Benue State.
March 15: Gunmen kill family of six and one other person in Osun and Ekiti states.
March 23: Man, son, nephew shot dead by gunmen in Edo State.
March 25: 16 persons killed as troops, police, ESN clash in Imo.
March 26: Bloodbath in Niger as suspected bandits kill 30 vigilante members, one in Benue market, nine in Birnin Gwari, Giwa LGAs in Kaduna.
March 28: 34 Police, Army, Navy men reportedly killed in Anambra, Abia, Imo and C-River states.
March 30: One killed, many injured as Shi’ites, Police clash in Abuja
March 31: Priest, 17 others killed by suspected herdsmen in Ebonyi.
March 31: Gunmen kill Catholic priest and three parishioners in Benue State.
April 1: Three policemen killed as gunmen attack ex- Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Chukwuma Soludo in Anambra.
April 2: Suspected bandits kill six soldiers and policemen in Niger.
April 4: Two Miyetti Allah leaders killed in Nasarawa by suspected bandits
April 7: One person killed in Imo
April 7: Two soldiers missing as gunmen murder two mobile policemen in Taraba.
April 9: Cult clash claims three lives in Rivers.
April 12: Suspected Boko Haram fighters kill 16 in Borno and Adamawa.
April 13: Four feared dead as gunmen sack three villages in Ebonyi
April 15: 15 killed in Gombe.
April 16: Suspected bandits kill four in Katsina.
April 18: Boko Haram invade military base in Borno, killing four soldiers, family of four and three others.
April 18: Gunmen kill policeman in Taraba State.
April 20: Nine people killed as gunmen attack Zone 13 Police Headquarters, Ukpo.
April 21: Suspected bandits kill staff member of Kaduna Greenfield University and abduct students.
April 21: One killed as suspected bandits attack Amotekun in Oyo.
April 22: Police station burnt, two policemen killed in an attack in Enugu.
April 24: Bandits kill three abducted Greenfield University students.
April 25: Four security operatives killed in Imo.
April 25: Gunmen kill nine security operatives in Rivers State.
April 25: Armed militia invades Benue IDPs camp, killing seven, injuring nine.
April 26: Medical doctor killed in attack on church in Kaduna.
April 26: Gunmen kill nine persons in Awkuzu , Anambra State.
April 26: Suspected bandits kill six in three Katsina communities
April 27: Gunmen attack police station, killing five officers.
April 27: Two more abducted Greenfield University students killed
April 27: Gunmen in white bus kill two soldiers and one civilian at a checkpoint in Ebonyi
April 27: 20 soldiers killed as military plane bombs military truck in error in Borno.
April 28: Gunmen shoot 60-year-old Lagos socialite, Rasak Jikoli, to death
April 29: Gunmen kill two policemen in Akwa Ibom, hotelier and wife in Ogun.
Meanwhile, in Kaduna, 323 persons were killed and 949 kidnapped by bandits within the time under review.
The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, said this during the presentation of the security quarterly report.
He said the report covered cases of banditry, kidnapping, cattle-rustling, attacks, and reprisal attacks.
Of all the 323 killings, 73.07 percent occurred in Kaduna Central, 21.05 percent took place in Southern district while 5.88 happened in the North.
In the following pages, two former military chiefs, a retired diplomat and a lawmaker speak on why insecurity in the country persisted in the 96 days of Service Chiefs and proffer the way out.