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Editorial

They Are Terrorists And Should Be So Treated!

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Security was breached at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Kaduna State on Tuesday, resulting in the killing of two officers and the abduction of a senior officer.

About four days later, the whodunit is still blowing in the wind, essentially because the retards behind the assault are not being seen or dealt with as the terrorists that they are. Pray, how can mere bandits invade the nation’s foremost military university, kill and make away with a Major who has remained hostage?

According to reports, the gunmen successfully broke into five flats at the NDA premises and swiftly withdrew before the guards could intervene. In the wake of the attack, Major Christopher Datong has been whisked away, while a lieutenant commander, simply identified as Wulah, and a flight lieutenant, C.M. Okoronkwo were killed. Also, a second lieutenant, whose name was given as Onah, reportedly sustained a gunshot injury.

This is an act of terrorism, stupid! The terrorists apparently intended all service arms of the nation’s armed forces to feel their impact, thereby passing a message to the rest of the country. According to the Director of Defence Information, Benjamin Sawyer, “these people had consistently studied and rehearsed what they wanted to do”. With such a brazen terror attack, Naija News cannot comprehend why the Chief of Defence Staff, Lucky Irabor, would say; “it’s more of an armed robber coming to your house”.

This unfortunate categorization of terrorists in the North-West is in keeping with the Buhari administration’s refusal to classify these daredevil characters as the terrorists they truly are. Rather than read lax in security or the handwriting on the wall, the Presidency is regrettably reading politics into the deadly assault. Raising posers while responding to the attack on the NDA, Garba Shehu, a media aide to the President, asked, “Could this be truly a criminal attempt to violate the sanctity of that military institution? Was this an opportunistic crime? Is it political? Does somebody want to embarrass the government by doing this?”

The current government and the deep state prefer to call them bandits or criminals and would want Nigerians to see them as the same. Even the apex northern socio-political organization, Arewa Consultative Forum called those who attacked the NDA “ordinary street bandits”. The persons they want to be seen as bandits are the same who shot down a military fighter jet and unleashed the sort of terror, a fraction of which the Indigenous People of Biafra did not perpetrate even before and after they were proscribed as terrorists.

Aside other atrocities, there was the downing of an air force alpha jet in Zamfara and now this audacious invasion of the highly fortified NDA, who knows what next is up the sleeve of these terrorists? Such apprehension makes them terrorists in the basest sense of the word. Besides the brutal killings and abductions they have suffered, the people are terrorised by reports of the effrontery of the so-called bandits as they fear for their lives. If they could successfully attack fortified places and even abduct a serving commissioner in the Niger State government, how safe and secure is the ordinary Nigerian? Yet, the Constitution says, “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose and responsibility of government”.

Most Nigerians have been calling for the proscription of these outlaws holding the North-West to ransom, but the usual refrain from officialdom is that they are unknown or that they do not have a centralised leadership. Yet, these are the same people some state governments in the North had sealed pacts with, persons Sheikh Ahmed Gumi reportedly accompanied by some security operatives went to meet in the forests of Zamfara State. It’s high time the sensibilities of Nigerians stopped being insulted with claims of the bandits being out of reach!

Beyond the need to rightly proscribe these people as terrorists, it is more paramount to treat them in the language they understand. Our military or defence institutions should not be a sitting duck waiting to be attacked at will by these terrorists. The battle must be taken to their strongholds, starting with the recovery of Major Datong and the arrest of those who raided the NDA.

The Federal Government must also seriously consider acting on the call by the Zamfara State governor, Bello Matawalle that a state of emergency is imposed on the flashpoints. These terrorists have done enough to arouse the government to act with the kind of celerity that landed Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Ighoho in detention. The strident call for these supposed bandits to be designated as terrorists is because Nigerians have an idea of what terrorism is. From the armed Fulani militia who as of 2015 were classified by the Global Terrorism Index as the fourth most murderous terrorist group in the world to the Boko Haram/ISWAP insurgency in the North-East, Nigerians can tell that there isn’t much difference among these lot.

Naija News is therefore charging the Buhari government and the nation’s security architecture to square up to these terrorists. With the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, the Nigerian government must let its actions and will communicate that such cannot happen here. It is all the more expedient for Buhari to proscribe and stamp out these bandits so that politics or ethnicity won’t be read into his successor’s resolve to end the scourge should power change hands to a southerner in 2023. This is so that there won’t be statements like: “any attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the North” by then.

Source: Naija News