By Nnanke Willie
Nothing, perhaps, better captures the dire security situation of Nigeria than the train kidnap episode of March 28, 2022.
There is a trending video this Sunday morning with some terrorists flogging some of the devastated hostages as a prelude to the announcement of further requests and threats from the savage group.
This time they took their threats notches higher by threatening to abduct Kaduna State Governor Nasir el Rufai and our President, Muhammadu Buhari. The insult to our collective injury is now full circle!
This is coming after the same group successfully launched an audacious attack on the President’s convoy in Katsina and Nigeria’s Kuje prisons, a shouting distance from the Abuja international airport on the same day.
Unsurprisingly, they rescued all their members being held in that otherwise secure facility in Kuje and many more criminals.
As usual, not a single invading terrorist was killed or captured, not a single fleeing terrorist was captured and the terrorist rode in a long convoy of motorcycles back to their hideout in the Abuja forest.
All this happened once again even after Nigeria’s security agencies had intercepted intelligence of a possible invasion!
Hear the terrorists in the recent video:
“This is our message to the government of Nigeria and just as you have seen these people here, by God’s grace, you will see your leaders; your senators and governors will come before us.
“These ones you are seeing here, we will keep some as our slaves and sell them off just as our Imam told you in the past,”.
He further stated in Hausa: “Just like the Chibok girls that were sold off, we will equally sell these ones as slaves. If you don’t adhere to our demands, we will kill the ones we need to kill and sell the remaining. By God’s grace, El-Rufai, Buhari, we will bring you here.”
On March 28, gunmen successfully bombed the tracks of a moving train in Kaduna, stormed the train and opened fire on passengers even as they tried hard to scramble to safety. Nine people were confirmed dead after the attack and dozens were confirmed kidnapped.
The abduction was executed even after it was confirmed that Nigeria’s security agencies had credible evidence of a possible train attack on that route.
The terrorist went ahead and planted explosives on the rail track and immobilised the train around Katari and Rijana axis and since then they have kept the unfortunate kidnap victims in the bush, exchanged some for huge ransom and serially taunted the Nigerian government and citizens with videos of their torment of the captives.
Even the most imaginative thriller writer could never have imagined a plot like this was possible.
How is it that a nation appears so serially helpless in the rescue of her citizens in an open forest but the same hostage-takers can come in and rescue their members from a Nigerian prison?
How is it serially possible not to use intelligence to stop attacks and neutralize the terrorists?
Surely, this would not have been possible unless there is either a complete failure of our security system or the connivance of some fifth columnists in privileged positions.
Either way, we are in the worst security situation of our lives in a non-war period.
How did we get here under the watch of a president who is a retired General with valuable battlefield experience? Only time will tell.
It is hard to believe that this same Nigeria has an enviable history of successful operations in their previous interventions in conflict zones in Africa, especially Liberia and Sierra Leone.
How can we keep reeling and roiling in an orgy of violent attacks from pockets of marauding terrorists and we have a government seemingly lacking the will to deal decisively with the issue.
How will this continue? How much worse will it go on before we wipe out these terrorists and leave all these terrible happenings behind in painful memory?
When will Nigerians begin to feel the love of their nation? When can we begin to enjoy the feeling that the nation will do everything to guarantee us the basic security and peace guaranteed by the constitution? When will enough be enough?
President Muhammadu Buhari, it is time to stop this train of shame and horror from moving forward.
@views exclusive rights: Nnanke Harry Willie, Publisher, Editor-in-chief, BrandPower News Media, writes from Lagos State, July 24, 2022.