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Banditry: Southern Kaduna nears total collapse

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Sir: For over a decade, Nigeria has been fraught with insecurity challenges, ranging from Boko Haram and their ISWAP counterparts to bandits and unknown gunmen. Amidst all this, the statistics of unemployed youths and graduates in the nation have been rising at an alarming rate.

One would wonder if this government which is saddled with the responsibility of protecting its citizens’ lives and properties exists. The nation used to be the most peaceful, united, and serene; a nation endowed with both human and natural resources where other countries tap and benefit from. Today, violent crimes like rape, armed robbery, assault, hostage-taking, carjacking, kidnapping, and banditry have become a daily routine.

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The rate of insecurity in Kaduna State is alarming and really calls for concern. With the degree of atrocities going on in the state, the people seem to have lost hope in the government, saying it has failed them. Most of the attacks in the state seem to be seasonal (Rainy season). In this period, people don’t go to their farms with one mind as others are even afraid to go because of the fear of the unknown. As a result, hunger sets in.

These gunmen invade communities and kill people. They raze houses, making the little surviving ones homeless. On July 13, 2021, a community in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State was attacked by these heartless herdsmen leaving eight persons dead. More than 100 houses together with an ECWA Church were set ablaze. They also set vehicles and other valuables worth millions of naira ablaze.

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As the Kaduna State government fails to curtail this menace, the Southern Kaduna People’s Union’s (SOKAPU) spokesman, Luka Binniyat says: “The latest attack is in tandem to what we have been saying that there is a genocide going on in Southern Kaduna and there is an agenda to drive us out of our ancestral homes.” The Southern Kaduna people are now forced to accuse the Kaduna State Government and the military of turning their back on the attacks by these bandits for over a decade.

The killings and destruction are too numerous to mention. Government and all security agencies should rise up to their responsibilities of protecting the lives and properties of citizens as enthroned. The nation is indeed sinking and therefore halting it now would prevent further damages! The Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai should take drastic measures in order to curtail this menace ravaging the state before people are left with no choice but to avenge.

Mary Bawa wrote from Kubwa, Abuja.

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