News reports on Monday said an armed gang killed at least 50 people in attacks on villages in the northern Nigerian state of Kaduna on Sunday. According to the police spokesman, the gunmen invaded five villages, burning houses, and vehicles.
There has been an increase in killings from attacks by insurgents, Fulani Herdsmen/indigenous community clashes along with incidents of kidnapping and robbery. Travelling along many routes in Nigeria has become a nightmare due to the presence of bandits along many highways of the country.
With the spate of attacks on the rise, criticisms continue to mount against the government for its inability to tackle the situation effectively, with accusations that it has been slow in taking actions to end the attacks. Many religious and other social groups have in recent times, embarked on peaceful protests to express their displeasure over the rising insecurity in the country and have also called for the replacement of the country’s security chiefs.
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Of more concern, the loss of confidence in the country’s security has created a compelling case for regions to take matters into their own hands by forming regional security groups. The bill to form “Amotekun”, a local vigilante group and the brainchild of the South West has been passed by all six states in the South West; Osun, Ondo, Lagos, Ekiti, Oyo, and Ogun.
The operatives of the security outfit will be expected to work with the police, other security agencies and traditional rulers in combating terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and intervening in clashes between herdsmen and farmers. Many have expressed concerns that such groups could be a tool in the hands of some politicians to fight presumed opposition.
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With unabated attacks, confidence in the governments’ ability to protect its citizens is diminishing and approaching its lowest ebb. We remain cautious that these attacks, if not effectively dealt with, could
- weigh heavily on domestic food production;
- accelerate the rate of migration from rural areas to the cities;
- exacerbate inter-tribal tensions between the Fulani tribe and other tribes;
- intensify the migration of young Nigerians from the country leading to a dearth of skilled workers.
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