For a new group of Nigerian families, ones which until recently had glowed with pride at having their members in the Nigerian military, Tuesday, April 5, 2022 would always be remembered as the day pride morphed into shattering pain. For many Nigerians, the date would be remembered as the day seventeen Nigerian soldiers succumbed to injuries sustained when bandits attacked a military base in Polwire, Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
According to sources, about 40 wounded soldiers were taken to the 44 Army Reference Hospital Facility while three other civilians were killed during the attack. The bloody attacks were said to be part of a broader pattern of frequent deadly attacks on Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State that have enveloped large portions of the local government and led to the abduction of many people including women and children.
It is time to declare a state of emergency in Kaduna State. It is also time to swap and shuffle all those who stand in charge of the security apparatus of Kaduna State for others who may yet bring better heads and hands to a task that is quickly proving both forbidding and formidable.
The frequent attacks on the state are becoming too coordinated to be random. From the pattern and potency of the attacks, it would appear that there is a deliberate attempt to neutralize one of Nigeria`s most iconic states and bring it to its knees. If those who are ferociously pursuing this agenda succeed, there is no telling what could become of the states that border Kaduna, including the Federal Capital Territory, and the rest of Nigeria.
It is absurdly ironical that a state that should be one of the most secure in Nigeria because of its proximity to the Federal Capital Territory, and its many military schools, is the one pounded day and night by the potent fury of terrorists who now spread their deadly attacks between the airport, the railway and roads.
How helpless, hapless and hopeless many residents of Kaduna State must now feel as Nigerians. How distraught and despondent many soldiers must feel about serving Nigeria in a state that has become a graveyard of soldiers and civilians alike.
Those Nigerians who thought that the economic depredations of corruption were enough challenges have now been forced to reckon with the rude awakening that terrorism is. Almost every day, lives and livelihoods are torn to shreds in Kaduna State and other states in the North and the ripple effects are far-reaching because apart from the common humanity which binds us as Nigerians, there is the more pressing matter of kith and kith whether by blood or by bond.
The Federal Government as well as the Kaduna State Government must take full responsibility for the killings in Kaduna, so must military authorities. They are the ones sworn to protect Nigerian lives and properties. Yet, under their watch, wild dogs have gone on rampage and are ripping everything in their path apart.
If both the Kaduna State Government and the Federal Government become serious about ending the great slaughter that goes on in Kaduna every other day, they could use the enormous resources at their disposal to unearth all those who not only provide wool and water for the killers but also wish them well as they embark on their killing sprees.
Once unearthed, they must be punished because unless the tree that shelters the birds of prey is destroyed from the roots, the raptors will continue to relish their chances.