Mangu and the missiles that pound Nigeria


Mangu attack: The killers who gave Nigerians a breather during the 2023 general elections have since returned with a vengeance, seemingly eager to make up for lost time .They leave a bloodied nation on the brink.

On Tuesday, May 16, 2023,gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen attacked two communities in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State. Official figures of death have since  leaped above eighty-five with a heartrending search still ongoing for  missing persons.

Since 2001 when Jos,the otherwise scenic Plateau State capital, erupted in an orgy of blood and gore, the state has remained a haunted ground. Occasionally,violence breaks out to remind a troubled state that danger remains.

The state governorship election came on March 18, 2023. After votes were  counted, Caleb Mutfwang of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)   swept all comers before him, including the Nentawe Yilwatda the candidate of the ruling  All Progressives Congress (APC).

That Plateau people opted against renewing an eight-year-old partnership in favour of returning to an old love was meant to send a clear message: that failure would not be tolerated in the breathtakingly beautiful land of the stunning Shere hills

How the people must now bemoan the catastrophic failure of Nigeria’s security agencies who have been relegated to the background as ruthless killers have mounted a campaign of death and destruction in Nigeria’s rural communities?

In neighboring Kaduna and Benue States, since the election ended, the killings and attacks have resumed with alarming viciousness and variety.

Practically every week, communities are attacked and ransacked with security agencies helpless to stop the surge of killings.

What is even more distressing and disturbing for the communities that have become such easy  targets  is that the government which  has  infinite number  resources at its fingertips is unable to match the deadly organization of the killers.

Another problem appears to be the impunity which ravages the response to the killings that plague  many  states in Nigeria.

Just why has the “Giant of Africa” been so slow to respond to the killers determined to lay waste its communities? The answer isn’t so simple. But again, it is as simple as official dereliction. And maybe even complicity.

Among the communities who have been turned into killing fields as Nigeria has found itself almost overrun by ruthless criminals, there is an unwavering belief that the Nigerian government has not done enough to halt the criminals in their tracks.

In a country ripped apart by ethnic and religious prejudices, it is always easy to look and see in the places of authority those who have not done enough to convince onlookers that there is nothing else they can do about what is going on.

Sometime last years, damning statistics emerged about how many of Nigeria’s staggering number of poor people are found in rural areas.

Before insecurity began to fuel the surge of people from rural to urban areas in Nigeria, poverty was the main driver. In rural areas, people lack access to basic amenities of life. Quality education, healthcare and even clean water are at a premium, not to talk of good roads and electricity.

Indeed, it indicts Nigeria as it would any country serious about its development that its rural areas now harbour criminals who know they do not have to do much to push their criminal enterprises because it is just too easy to conduct the business of death in a dysfunctional country.

That people who live in rural areas now have to add insecurity to the potent mix of poverty they have always had to endure is such a worry.

Mangu is an example of that. Of men, women, and children who wanted nothing but to till their soil and live in their serene communities, brutally killed by unidentified killers.

The killings starkly remind one of the failures of the All Progressives Congress in the state, and of Plateau’s difficult history as a state where innocent blood has never really stopped flowing.

Maybe, someday, Nigeria will become that country where blood will no longer be shed without compunction or consequences.

Kene Obiezu,

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