Chief Dennis Abuda was an American based Nigerian businessman who was kidnapped on Saturday, January 30, 2021, along the Benin-Akure road on his way to Lagos to catch a flight back to his base in the US.
The 63-year-old man from Fugar, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State came into the country for the Christmas celebration and was abducted alongside some family members.
The kidnappers were said to have shot and killed him after a ransom of N10 million was paid to secure his release and that of the other victims.
The decomposing body of Abuda was found in a bush near the small town of Agbanikaka, Ovia North East Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday, February 2, four days after he was kidnapped.
On November 26, 2020, gunmen suspected to be kidnappers shot dead a First Class traditional ruler, the Olufon of Ifon in Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State, Oba Israel Adeusi.
The traditional ruler, who was returning to Ifon from Akure the state capital after a meeting, ran into the barricade of the kidnappers along Elegbeka area on the Owo-Benin Highway when the incident happened.
His driver was said to have attempted to maneuver his way to avoid the kidnappers when they shot at his vehicle. Oba Adeusi was hit with bullets and was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, where he was confirmed dead.
Pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin said the killing of the Ondo monarch was one too many.
…and more killings
On Sunday February 21, 2021, Ikuru community in Andoni local government area of Rivers state was thrown into confusion following the abduction of the traditional ruler, HRM Aaron Ikuru.
Mr. Maurice Ikuru, the palace spokesman who confirmed the incident, said the unknown kidnappers stormed the palace of the traditional ruler and whisked him away.
The Spokesman of the Rivers state police command, Nnamdi Omoni, while commenting on the kidnap said efforts have been intensified to unravel the mystery behind the abduction.
The police spokesman also confirmed that gunmen suspected to be sea pirate kidnapped a lecturer of linguistics and communications of the University of Port Harcourt, Jones Ayauwo and others while on their way from Andoni to Port Harcourt on the same day.
On Thursday February 25, 2021, gunmen shot and killed four policemen at a checkpoint in Calabar, Cross River State. The gunmen were said to have swooped on the unsuspecting policemen at Ayanmbat community near Idundu in the Aka Efa area of the state capital.
The state Commissioner of Police, Sikiru Kayode Akande, confirmed the incident and said the culprits are suspected cultists. In the same Calabar last December, an Assistant Commissioner of Police serving in No. 73 PMF Squadron, Magumeri, Borno state, ACP Egbe Eko Edum was axed to death by unknown men when he arrived to see his family from Maiduguri.
Police suffers same fate
On Tuesday 23 February 2021, a Police Corporal was reportedly killed when armed men invaded a police station in Aba, Abia State.
The State Police Public Relations Officer, Geoffrey Ogbonna who confirmed the attack, said the attackers stormed the station around 2:00 am and set the entire place on fire.
An unspecified number of vehicles parked at the station were also set ablaze by the invaders whose identities were not ascertained. It was the second time in less than a month that a police station will be attacked.
The Umuoba Police Station in Isiala Ngwa North Local Government Area of the state was attacked on February 1, by gunmen who killed a police inspector, razed the station, burnt down operational vehicles, and carted away arms and ammunition.
On Saturday 20th February 2021, unknown gunmen said to be operating in a white Toyota Venza car killed the Special Assistant to Delta State Governor on Youth Development, Okiemute Sowho, also known as Daddy K.
He was shot and killed at close range along Crudas axis by Akintola Road, Sapele, Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State. Reports say the killing might have been carried out by assassins as nothing was stolen from the deceased after he was shot dead.
Also, two policemen were reportedly ambushed and killed at the Mile 5 area of Ugbolu and Illah communities near Asaba, the Delta State capital recently.
Still in Delta State, along the popular airport road in Effurun, a mobile policeman was killed by gunmen and his service rifle carted away. A week ago, another mobile policeman on escort duty was killed by gunmen at a church in Otor-Ogor near Ughelli and had his service rifle also carted away.
In Imo state, a police woman was shot when suspected hoodlums attacked a police station in Aboh Mbaise local government area of Imo state on Thursday February 25, 2021.
The station which was only recently renovated after it was torched during the #Endsars protest was razed by the attackers.
The attack came exactly 20 days after another set of hoodlums attacked the Divisional Police headquartes in Obowo. Two Police officers lost their lives and three others sustained various degree of injuries in that dastardly attack
In Akwa Ibom, kidnapping and violent cult clashes has claimed many lives in recent times. In December last year, the police command arrested over 40 cultists responsible for recent cult-related murder and robberies within Uyo Metropolis.
A police orderly attached to an expatriate, Mr. Fad Hamoua was killed while trying to prevent his kidnap.
In Bayelsa, an unnidentified soldier was murdered in Apoi Community of Southern Ijaw Local government area of Bayelsa state two weeks ago. The soldier who was said to be monitoring oil pipelines in the area, was shot dead by the gunmen at the boundary between Apoi and Azuzuama communities.
Eye witnesses said, the assailants carted away the AK 47 rifle of the deceased before fleeing away in speed boats. The death of the soldier raised tension in the community following fears of possible reprisal attack by the military.
Not just in the Niger Delta but across the country, people live daily in fear because of the level of insecurity. If it is not Boko Haram insurgents carrying out massive killings in the north, it is suspected fulani herdsmen having a field day, killing and maiming innocent people.
It has become like a new normal for bandits to invade schools and abduct hundreds of children. The nation’s highways are no longer safe. Traveling from one end of the country at night in big luxurious buses which used to be very fun is now almost impossible. Even day time travel is at one’s peril. It has never been this bad!
Even with the glaring inability of the Federal Government to make Nigerians sleep with their two eyes closed, the loquacious Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed is still boasting that the government was winning the war against insurgents.
It was the same government that announced to the world that it had “technically defeated” Boko Haram terrorists in 2015. President Muhammadu Buhari recently appointed new service chiefs after several calls for the sack of the former service chiefs. But with the growing rate of insecurity, the appointment the new service chiefs may not be the real solution.
To show that the Federal Government was losing the war against criminal elements, the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magaji (rtd), was recently quoted to have asked Nigerians to defend themselves.
The minister had said:
“It is the responsibility of everybody to keep alert and to find safety when necessary. But we shouldn’t be cowards. At times, the bandits will only come with three rounds of ammunition, when they fire shots everybody runs. In our younger days, we stand to fight any aggression coming for us”.
Can you beat that?
A former Director of the Department of State Services, Mr Mike Ejiofo said what the Minister of Defence was calling for was “pure anarchy”. He said it is the duty of the government to protect her citizens.
According to him having surrendered their rights to defend themselves to the government, it is the constitutional responsibility of the government to do so. He stressed that primarily the function of every government is to protect lives and properties.
He went further to say that the minister’s utterances are a tacit admission of incompetence and failure. The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), also slammed the defence minister for the call for Nigerians to defend themselves against gun wielding bandits and kidnappers. The NBA said the call was indeed “a sign of failure”.
Popular Islamic scholar, Sheik Ahmad Gumi, drew the ire of most Nigerians last week when he advocated for amnesty for criminals carrying out kidnappings and banditry in different parts of Northern Nigeria.
Gumi’s call may have been prompted by the obvious helpless and clueless situation of the Federal Government.
Saying that Nigerians are tired of the situation may just be putting it mildly, but there is general feeling of disenchantment, among the populace.
Things cannot continue like this.
The APC led federal government needs to wake up and restore confidence in the people. Key institutions saddled with fighting crime and criminality must be well funded and strengthened, including creating a more robust Intelligence gathering technique.
All the security agencies in the country should stop working in isolation. There is need for synergy in tackling the threat of terrorism and other sundry crimes.The government should stop playing politics with the lives of the people. It should go hard and ruthless on criminals, thier collaborators and sponsors. It should reconsider the issue of state police to effectively secure the country. Also, more regional outfits like Operation Amotekun should be encouraged.
The country cannot continue to scare aware investors on account of the government’s lacklusture attitude to provide a safe haven for investments.
Finally, the government needs to adequately check the proliferation of small and light weapons in the country and provide measures to curb the influx of dangerous arms through our land and sea borders.
It is only then we can avoid the direction we are heading towards; a failed state.