Kaduna’s report of ruin

Kenechukwu Obiezu

Kenechukwu Obiezu

One of democracy`s greatest gifts is stability which could mean the   reality that people can live their lives free of man-made upheavals. The gift of stability that every real democracy should be able to give is also to be glimpsed from the responsibility, capacity and ability of the government at any point in time to guarantee some stability for the people with whom they have a social contract.

To abandon this responsibility, to be found to lack this capacity and ability is to irreparably breach such a social contract. When this happens, there can only come one conclusion: that between the government on one side of the social contract, and the people on the other side, bridges have been burnt and bonds broken.

Since terrorism began to evolve in Nigeria, showing off its fangs, Kaduna State in Northwest Nigeria has sat heavy, helpless and hapless on a keg of gunpowder. It would appear that from one of Nigeria`s most iconic state, terror has set up an elaborate theatre from which it mocks the Giant of Africa.

Whenever it appears that the horror attacks against communities in Kaduna State are about to take a backseat in the national memory, something happens to forcefully ignite riotous recollection. While 2021 was headlined by the dozens of students abducted and held for ransom for many days from different institutions within the state, since March 28,2022, the fate of Nigerians who had the misfortune of travelling from Abuja to Kaduna by train has been the electric eel violently writhing  in  elegy to a lost Eden.

Recently,Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, the Kaduna State Governor, received  his state`s security report for  the first quarter of 2022 which says  360  persons were killed and 1,389 others kidnapped in the state between January and March 2022.

Elaborating on the security situation of the state, Mallam El-Rufai said there was intelligence that Boko Haram, ISWAP and Ansaru terrorists were recruiting Kaduna youths even as the signs were that terror was moving base from the Northeast to the Northwest.

Recent events in Kaduna State would seem to confirm the Governor`s fears that terror is indeed on the move to Kaduna State. The Governor also disclosed that it seemed that some communities sat on the Kaduna-Abuja highway were making life easier for the terrorists by providing them with information.

Since Kaduna State became Nigeria`s capital of terror, snatching the ignominious status from the hands of Borno and Zamfara State, experts have continued to warn that there are within the State many of those who help terrorism thrive.

There is no doubt that if terrorism is to be stamped out from the state and   elsewhere in Nigeria, those who feed its flames need to be exposed and prosecuted no matter how highly placed they are in Nigeria.

Nigerian never thought they will live to see the day when terror will become a one of the most pressing concerns in Nigeria. But without a doubt, that is what is happening now and to witness it is especially distressing.

Mallam El-Rufai also proposed the relocation of Katari, Rijana and Akilibu communities along the Kaduna-Abuja highway as the communities were suspected to harbour criminals and informants.

The battle against terrorism in its many ugly forms in Nigeria remains a collective effort. If the criminals who terrorize communities are to be halted in their tracks, all hands must and should be on deck. There is no other way.

For all its strategic importance to the country and as host to premier defence institutions in the country, Kaduna State remains a hotbed of terrorist activities. The extremely disturbing situation poses a grave threat not just to the state alone but the country as a whole. It must be tackled immediately.

 

Kene Obiezu,

keneobiezu@gmail.com

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