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Gunmen are killing Nigerians, but Buhari’s APC is obsessed about Peter Obi – By Israel Ojoko

There is no better way to describe a misplaced priority and a complete lack of empathy as what is presently playing out right now where dozens of Nigerians are being killed nationwide in a renewed mass massacre by gunmen, while the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is rather unsettled by just one man – Peter Obi.

Since the scarcity of the naira took a toll on Nigerians, one of the few positive impacts it had was that it crippled the function of kidnapping, terrorism, banditry, robbery, and gunmen attacks.

However, following the ruling of the Supreme Court and subsequent return of old naira notes for public use, crimes have now returned and are in full blaze.

But it seems there are only a few people concerned about this problem because most Nigerians, including the ruling APC government, are fixated on the now infamous battle between the APC and Labour Party (LP) presidential candidate Peter Obi and his supporters.

It has been a grubby combat really, a conflict of locution, with warnings flying up and down. Even the DSS jumped into the party to be seen and heard. The DSS that apparently could not gather swift intelligence to prevent the mass massacre going on in Benue State where over 100 people have been killed in a continuous killing spree, are quick to warn Nigerians on political issues. The DSS warned against inciting statements that pose a security threat and could cause conflict, but there is conflict already in Benue, Taraba and many other places.

For the Minister of Information Lai Mohammed, he found no platform in Nigeria worthy for his world press conference, but had to travel to the United States of America on tax payers’ moneys to address election matters and warning Peter Obi of inciting Nigerians, which he said is a treasonable offence.

Lai Mohammed needed to force the western media to listen to him by all means.

Meanwhile, while Mohammed was touring the United States and giving speeches, more than 100 Nigerian citizens were murdered in Benue State. While Festus Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment was busy tweeting about Peter Obi and the ‘Obidients’, terrorism and gunmen attacks have returned and Nigerians are dying daily.

I don’t even think Keyamo can still remember that he is the Minister of State for Labour, or maybe he had since tendered his resignation without our knowledge. This man, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria for that matter, has not tweeted a single thing about the indefinite ASUU strike in Taraba. The Nigerian Labour Congress, Maritime workers and other unions are threatening to go on strike, but these are of no interest to Keyamo and they do not deserve his attention.

Now let me recall some reported cases of killings across the country since March 1 after the declaration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as president-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the return of old naira notes into circulation.

No fewer than 13 attacks were reported between March 4 and April 9, 2023, that is just in a space of one month. More than half the number of these attacks happened within just the first week in April.

On March 4, gunmen attacked a police checkpoint and killed an officer attached to the Atani Police station in the Local Government Headquarters of Ogbaru Council Area of Anambra State. Many people were left with various degrees of injuries. The corpse and firearm of the deceased policeman was even taken away by the gunmen.

One week after that attack, terrorists invaded Ungwar Wakili village in Zango Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State and killed 17 people, most of whom were women and children including a newborn baby. These harmless people died from gunshots or machete cuts.

As that was going on in Kaduna, on the same March 11, the councillor representing Echara Ward 2 in Okposi Community, Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Ogbonnaya Ugwu, popularly known as Spaco, was killed by gunmen. At about 10pm, he was accosted by the gunmen around Okposi Court Area junction on his way home, shot dead and set ablaze.

A day before that incident, gunmen numbering about 20 stormed the Grow Homes Estate along Kuchibiyi in the Kubuwa area of the Federal Capital Territory, and kidnapped nine residents including children and women.

On March 13, the Accord candidate for the Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Constituency 2 in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Chukwudi Ogbonna was kidnapped after he was dragged out of his vehicle by gunmen around the Rumuigbo area of Port Harcourt.

A day after the March 18 governorship election, six persons went missing after gunmen attacked six Hummer Buses carrying INEC officials in Kogi. The governorship election itself was characterized by violence, attacks, intimidation, destruction of election materials, poor security, and distance far from being free and fair.Communities in Oganenigu Ward of Dekina Local Government Area (LGA) of Kogi State came under attack on April 2nd.

Many people were killed including a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Oganenigu Ward chairman, James Adah. Hundreds of houses were burnt and many others sustained injuries in the early morning attack.

On the same breath, gunmen burst into the village of Dabna in the district of Hong, Adamawa State and killed three people. In another attack a few hours earlier, gunmen entered a church in the village of Akenawe-Tswarev in Benue state, killing one worshiper and kidnapping three others, leaving two other people seriously injured and hospitalized.

A day earlier, armed men attacked several villages in Mashegu and Munya districts of Niger State, killing at least seven people and abducting 26 others.

That same weekend, a resident pastor of Living Faith Church, Aloko-Oganenigwu in Dekina LGA of Kogi State, Jacob Wodi Hulobu, was killed by gunmen. His church came under attack but the pastor and other worshippers escaped into the bush. Shortly after, the pastor went back to check the state of the church after the attack when the invaders shot and killed him.

The worst of these attacks took place on April 5 in Benue State where at least 50 people were killed. Ruben Bako, chairman of the Otukpo local government where the massacre happened, said that gunmen killed 47 people in Umogidi village. But a day earlier, three other people had been slain in the same place.

Lagos State, believed to be one of the safest places in Nigeria, also recorded an attack when gunmen invaded Gowon Estate in the Alimosho LGA, killing three persons, and leaving the fourth victim injured. This is such an unusual incident and the police are still investigating while the assailants have since escaped to a safe haven.

On Thursday, 6th of April, three police officers were killed while one other sustained injury during an attack near Agor, along the Igarra-Auchi Road in Edo State. While that incident happened in the early hours of Thursday, another one happened at about 9pm on the same day when retired Immigration Officer, Jacob Agada, was killed by suspected gunmen around Agaya hotels, Ombi 2, Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State.

On the morning of Good Friday April 7, at least 80 children between the ages of 12 and 17 were abducted by bandits in Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State. Also, gunmen stormed the Marine Base area of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State and attacked a police checkpoint, killing an officer.

There is a deadly conflict currently going on between Kutep and Fulani pastoralists in Kwe Sati and Fikye communities in the Ussa Local Government Area of Taraba State. This has led to the death of at least eight persons in the renewed clash.

Terrorists, bandits, gunmen, kidnappers are all back to business as usual. This is what the government of the day should be more concerned about and not Peter Obi. The DSS and other security agencies should be more busy gathering intelligence of these attackers and swing into action to prevent attacks and make every part of the country liveable for residents instead of delving into political matters.

The constitution gives room for peaceful protest and also permits anyone to seek redress in a court of law if they feel aggrieved. No person should try to stop another from that constitutional privilege. Peter Obi has taken his grievances to the election tribunal, he has the right to do so, we should allow the tribunal to do their job independently.

Accusing Peter Obi and Datti Baba-Ahmed, vice-presidential candidate of the LP of treason and taking any further step to arrest any of them at this time, portend greater danger for a country already on the edge. That idea should be completely erased and sent back to wherever it came from. The matter is in court, everyone should allow the legal system to do their job.

Though president Buhari has said he can’t wait to leave the Aso Rock Villa and retire, this present administration still owes Nigerians everything it pledged while taking the oath of office, and until the last minute. For now, Buhari and his ministers should keep the country safe by working more and talking less.

Israel Ojoko, a writer and content strategist, can be reached via israelojoko14@gmail.com

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