On Saturday June 4, 2022, on the same day Mr. Zakari Umaru-Kigbu, a former Federal Commissioner Nasarawa State of the National Population Commission was brutally killed in his house in Lafia Nasarawa State and just hours before the attack on St Francis Catholic Church Owo in Ondo State, criminals broke into the rectory of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Obangede, Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State and abducted Rev. Fr. Christopher Onotu of the Catholic Diocese of Lokoja thereby throwing the sleepy community into sadness and fear.
The attack continues a terrifying trend of attack on Christian clerics within the country which to make proper sense must be cast into the light of Nigeria`s cascade into insecurit. A tremulous thread connects this latest kidnapping to others in the country.
Early last month , the Catholic Archdiocese of Kaduna confirmed that its priest, Fr. Joseph Aketeh Bako,who was kidnapped from the parish rectory at St. John Catholic Church Kudenda where he was parish priest had died in the hands of his kidnappers..
On May 25, 2022, two catholic priests belonging to the Missionary Society of St Paul and serving under the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto were abducted along with two boys serving in their rectory in Katsina State.
On May 29, 2022 the prelate of the Methodist Church In Nigeria Rev Samuel Kanu-Uche was abducted in Abia State along with two of his bishops. He was released only after the sum of hundred million naira was paid the kidnappers. He has since been united with his congregation and has had some truly chilling stories to share.
Like a dam that has overflowed its banks, insecurity in Nigeria is on a steady journey and slowly but irrepressibly, it marches on, soaking up everything within sight. It is fast becoming the frightening experience of many Nigerians that areas that were relatively untouched by terror are now waking up to the terrifying reality that their turn may have just come.
Kogi State used to know many attacks on innocent Nigerians. Multiple cases of abduction on its roads were crowned by the horrific Kabba Jailbreak of September 2021 to jar Nigerians awake to the biting reality that the confluence state was afire.
Just when it seemed some sort of solution had been found for the problem, bombs went off in two different locations in Kabba within last month as if to announce that danger was still very much present.
Eyebrows were raised when Mr. Kingsley Fanwo the Kogi State Commissioner for Information said sometime in 2021 that the security partnership between the State Government and Fulani herdsmen was bearing fruits while citing the example of how Fulani herdsmen captured fleeing inmates from the jailbreak in Kabba, and handed them back to the State government. It appears that the most vulnerable people of Kogi, those who live in those areas that are especially vulnerable because they are rural remain starved of these fruits.
As for many communities in Kogi State as well as all over Nigeria, the question is no longer if, but when. With everything that is going on in the country at the moment, there is hardly anyone who does not look over their shoulders when they go outside or strain their ears while at home, listening for telltale sounds while their hearts pound so hard as if to exit their rib cages.
The fear is real these days that at the hands of drug-fueled criminals long dead to their humanity and the humanity in others, one could be forced to ultimately join one`s ancestors untimely. Insecurity remains an issue in Nigeria principally because many of those who should take responsibility and account to Nigerians on the use or abuse of their offices sit back and do nothing.
If insecurity ravages Nigeria today, it is because taking decisive action to confront the menace headlong is not the priority of the many political merchants, mercenaries and mediums Nigerians have had the misfortune of electing into office. While the country burns, they prefer to amuse themselves with other things.
Perhaps, if Nigeria can begin to hold them to account, solutions to the many seemingly insoluble problems will appear.