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Crime & Punishment of Friday, 14 January 2022


Amotekun combs South-West forests for fleeing North-West terrorists

Amotekun Amotekun

South-West states on Thursday said they had put the regional security outfit, Amotekun, on the alert following renewed attacks by killer herdsmen and terrorists in Ondo State.

Amotekun officials of Osun, Oyo, Ondo and Ekiti states, who spoke separately with our correspondents, said they had got credible intelligence that terrorists fleeing military operations in the North-West would seek refuge in the forests of the southern states.

Amotekun personnel, therefore said they had started combing forests in the region for the fleeing terrorists from the North-West.

As South-West states beefed up security, groups including the Arewa Consultative Forum; the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in separate interviews with The PUNCH, lamented recent killings in the country, particularly in Zamfara, where 200 people were killed, as well as Plateau, Ondo and Enugu states.

The group said recent statements on insecurity by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), showed that he was not in touch with reality.

Berating the President, the ACF said insecurity had worsened in the country since he assumed office in 2015 despite his military credentials.

The ACF noted with sadness that the President was elected partly because Nigerians believed he had all it took to crush any form of security challenges but the reverse remained the case.

The forum through its National Publicity Secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, stated these in reaction to the sustained killings in Zamfara, Niger and bandits attacks in Ondo, Enugu, Benue and Plateau, and other parts of the country.

The ACF’s spokesman told The PUNCH in Kaduna with the look of things, it seemed the President was not in tune with the reality on ground.

Insecurity has worsened under Buhari – ACF
He said, “The President was elected partly because he had the credentials that fitted the job at hand. Sadly, the security situation has aggravated since he came into office.

“We only hope he has a rethink. Some of the things he said during the interview (with Channels Television) portray him as a man who is out of day.”

During the interview a few weeks ago, Buhari was asked what he thought could bring a lasting solution to farmers, herders’ clashes and banditry.

The President, among others, said the way out was for the grazing areas and waterfronts to be secured.

On its part, Afenifere expressed dismay at the disposition of the President.

The group, which said Nigerians had all along thought that Buhari’s image-makers were not representing him very well busy, said the interview aired recently (by Channels Television) showed the true position of things.

The National Publicity Secretary of the Afenifere, Jare Ajayi, said, “The disposition (of the President) is that the insecurity situation is not as critical as Nigerians are painting it. Before hearing him, the thinking was that those who have been speaking for him have not been correctly representing him. His recent television interviews have clearly shown that he had all along been correctly represented.

“Now that we know the President’s position, it is certainly not out of place to express regret that our President is not in touch with the reality of the present security situation in Nigeria.

“Just today, Thursday, reports have it everywhere that Borno State Governor Zulum openly declared in Maiduguri that terrorists are effectively in control of two local government areas in his state. He added that the terrorists have assembled 300 motorbikes to attack more communities.

“Same day, news have it of 18 people that were murdered in Plateau State also by terrorists. Similar disheartening incidents mentioned above are also occurring in several other states particularly in the north and in the South-East.”

On its part, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation Ohanaeze Ndigbo appealed to President to listen and support restructuring of Nigeria to a true Federalism and save the country from bloodletting going on in the country.

Ohanaeze spokesman Chief Alex Ogbonnia, who spoke to one of our correspondents on telephone said that the killings going on in the country showed that federal police could nnot secure Nigeria again.

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