Friday, June 18, 2021
MARKET UPDATE

TheCable

Advertisement

THEN AND NOW: How FG went from threatening to ‘crush’ bandits to begging them

THEN AND NOW: How FG went from threatening to ‘crush’ bandits to begging them
May 08
11:07 2021

In recent months, bandits have initiated a series of attacks and kidnappings in various states, making governance difficult for those in power and heightening the degree of insecurity in the country.

Advertisement

Students of secondary and tertiary levels of education have become the major victims of these acts of banditry.

Some of the schools which have witnessed attacks in the past few months include Government Science College, Kagara in Niger; Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Zamfara; Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation and Greenfield University, both in Kaduna; and recently, Abia State University.

Only three months ago, the presidency was threatening to crush the bandits behind the attacks and their sponsors, saying they can be defeated by the country’s security outfits — but in recent days, that hard stance appears to have softened.

Advertisement

TheCable chronicles how the presidency went from issuing threats to appealing to the better nature of bandits.

FEBRUARY 25: BUHARI SAYS BANDITS WILL BE DEALT WITH

In his address at the joint security meeting of the Northern State Governors’ Forum and traditional rulers on February 25, Buhari warned that his administration will deal with bandits.

Advertisement

The president said he had directed service chiefs “to devise new strategies that will end this ugly situation where the lives of our people continue to be threatened by hoodlums and criminals”.

“The government shall continue to deal with insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and other criminals who constitute a threat to innocent citizens across the country,” he said.

“Criminals are criminals and should be dealt with accordingly, without resorting to ethnic profiling.”

FEBRUARY 26: BUHARI SAYS BANDITS AREN’T TOO STRONG TO BE DEFEATED

Advertisement

A day after the security meeting, Buhari warned that bandits are not too strong to be defeated.

The president made the remark following the abduction of schoolgirls from GGSS Jangebe.

“Let them (bandits) not entertain any illusions that they are more powerful than the government. They shouldn’t mistake our restraint for the humanitarian goals of protecting innocent lives as a weakness or a sign of fear or irresolution,” the president said.

MARCH 30: BUHARI ORDERS SERVICE CHIEFS TO TAKE OUT BANDITS, THEIR SPONSORS

Advertisement

In March, Buhari, as quoted by Babagana Monguno, the national security adviser (NSA), called for a proactive approach in dealing with bandits.

The president directed service chiefs to take out bandits and their sponsors to boost the confidence of the people.

“Mr president has made it very clear to both the intelligence and operational elements that the first assignment will be to identify the leaders of these bandits, kidnappers and take them out, in order to restore confidence in those areas,” Monguno said.

“Mr president has said that he will no longer tolerate a situation whereby bandits and kidnappers are the ones dictating the pace and setting the tone and he will not also condone a situation in which our own operations are reactionary rather than being proactive.”

Advertisement

APRIL 23: BUHARI SAYS FG HAS CAPACITY TO CRUSH BANDITS

On April 22, TheCable reported that more than 25 people were killed in attacks on Gobirawa, Rini, Gora, and Madoti Dankule in Bakura and Maradun LGAs in Zamfara state.

Reacting to the incident, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, quoted Buhari as saying that his administration has the capacity to crush bandits.

Buhari said the Nigerian military possess “massive firepower” to take down bandits and burn down their camps.

“These criminals should stop pushing their luck too far by believing that the government lacks the capacity to crush them,” the president said.

“Let’s not give these criminals any opportunity to succeed by taking the war to their own camps and stop them in their tracks before they even have the time to respond under our massive firepower.”

MAY 5: BUHARI SHIFTS FROM THREATS TO APPEAL

Following the release of 27 students abducted from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, the president appealed to bandits to ensure the release of other kidnapped students.

The students gained their freedom on Thursday, over one month after they were abducted.

The presidential spokesman, in a statement, said: “The President appeals for the release of the students of the Greenfield University and all other citizens held in captivity, expressing the strong determination of his administration to ensure that Nigerians lived in a country where everyone can move where they want, when they want without the fear of kidnapping and banditry.”

What necessitated the softened tone and “appeal” to criminals is a question that has left many Nigerians scratching their heads.

0 Comments

  1. AUGUSTINE AKINYEMI
    AUGUSTINE AKINYEMI May 09, 05:09

    By mere observing and studying FG punitive measures taken against the captured terrorists in the North, one can conclude that the Boko Haram fighters had precisely judged BUHARI’s military weakness more correctly than we Nigerians. While millions of Nigerian youths are employed, our government went ahead to extend a kind of amnesty to premeditated murderers of our people, claiming that some of the terrorists can be rehabilitated. This singular misadventure by our government is a reason criminals of various colours suddenly came up in the country knowing they will be spared death ultimately and possibly be rehalitated, even giving vocational training of a kind. Such benevolence doesn’t discourage external aggression from terrorists. In reality, Buhari and his advisers are culpable in the murder of Nigerians, he is suposed to protect.

    Reply to this comment

Write a Comment