Niger’s nest of niggles

Kenechukwu Obiezu

Kenechukwu Obiezu

As insecurity continues to gain grounds in Nigeria, the proximity of Niger State and the criminals which have set up shop there, to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, remains a source of grave concern.

Since over a hundred kids were picked off from Tegina and held for 89 days last year, and villagers in Zagzaga advised to sell off their farm produce to raise ransom to free their abducted loved ones, the State has gained some notoriety for being one of Nigeria`s most insecure states.

In a state of nightmare

  It is no longer in doubt that life has become cheap in Nigeria. What remains in only little doubt is to what extent.  Even the most cursory of examinations would betray the fact that it is to a large extent. Niger State in Nigeria is one of such states where life in Nigeria  is  as cheap as commodities in a market of chips.

On Wednesday June 15, 2022, armed bandits fell upon  Maguzawa  Community in Rafi Local Government area of the state. While they slaughtered three people, an unspecified number of people were abducted. The attacks on Maguzawa came less than 48 hours after bandits raided Gidigore community also in Rafi Local Government where at least five lives were lost and dozens abducted.

The attacks on Maguzawa were not isolated. According to reports, residents confirmed that in less than three weeks, about ten different attacks had been visited on various communities in Rafi Local Government area.

On Sunday, June 19,2022, when a bus ran into a 10-tyre truck  parked on the road in Gidan Kwano along Minna-Bida  in Bosso local government area of Niger State,  eighteen passengers were burnt beyond recognition.

On Monday, June 18, 2021, Yusuf Sa`ad, a  fuel attendant, was shot   dead at the  AYM Shafa filling station along Bosso road of Chachanga local government area in Minna by a military personnel after an argument ensued  between the management of the filling station and some men of the Nigerian military who came to buy fuel long after the filling station had  closed for the day.

A land stalked by death.

  In every country that is serious about the development of its citizens which necessarily factors the quality of life as well as life expectancy into the development equation, the life of every citizen is of supreme importance. In fact, Nigeria remains one of countries where the increasingly unfashionable death penalty remains  a feature of the law. Yet, death continues to stalk Nigeria.

Every day,all over the country, Nigerians continue to fall victim to mindless  and senseless attacks on their lives and properties by criminals who should be cooling their heels  in jail was Nigeria a saner country.

Instead, the experience of even Nigerian children, is of a country where families have to put up with constant threats of terrorist attacks in addition to the poverty that is a constant companion these days.

While Nigerian lives continue to lose their worth with each passing day, governments at different levels are always beside themselves to reiterate that they are doing their best.

It remains to be seen however that this ‘best’ is enough for the men, women and children whose lives continue to be disrupted every day by these violent attacks, and whether this `best’ will remain enough for the criminals who seem hellbent on  claiming Nigerians communities for themselves.

Kene Obiezu

 keneobiezu@gmail.com

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