Killings: Speed up constitutional amendment that will introduce State Police – Atiku to Nigerians

By Chris Udochukwu

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in February 25, 2023 general election, Atiku Abubakar has expressed sadness that once peaceful Nigeria has become a killing field, charging Nigerians to prioritise security and speed up the process of a constitutional amendment that will introduce State Police so that states and local authorities can deploy mechanisms that best suit their environment in tackling this hydra-headed insecurity in our land.

The former Vice President made the call in reaction to the Thursday’s killing of scores of persons, including the village head and abduction of an unspecified number of people by suspected bandits in Madaka, in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State.

Atiku who made the call via his X account, noted that contrary to assurances, insecurity continues to be rife in our country. He also stressed that his thoughts and prayers are with the families of the bereaved and the government and people of Niger State.

The statement reads in full:

It is saddening that Nigeria has become a killing field. Thursday’s killing of scores of persons, including the village head and abduction of an unspecified number of people by suspected bandits in Madaka, in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State, is yet another confirmation that contrary to assurances, insecurity continues to be rife in our country.

We have to prioritise security and speed up the process of a constitutional amendment that will introduce State Police so that states and local authorities can deploy mechanisms that best suit their environment in tackling this hydra-headed insecurity in our land.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the bereaved and the government and people of Niger State. -AA

Precise Post recalls that medial report has it that 6,931 people have been killed under Tinubu in 10 months of his governance.

On March 14, 17 officers and men of the 181 Amphibious Battalion, Bomadi, were killed at Okuama community in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State on account of the land dispute between Okuama and Okoloba communities.

The 17 soldiers including one lieutenant Colonel, two majors and a captain met their Waterloo during alleged botched peace talks in the community. The murder of the military men has led to a military siege to Okuama in which houses had been razed and no fewer than 50 people reportedly killed.

The 67 reported souls lost to the Okuama crisis are among the 6,931 people killed across the country in 10 months since President Bola Tinubu assumed power, last May.

In immediate past President Muhammadu Buhari’s first 10 months in office, May 2015 to March 2016, Nigeria lost 8,356 people to insecurity.

During former President Goodluck Jonathan’s first 10 months as elected head of state, May 2011 to March 2012, insecurity claimed 2,059 lives.

The figures under Jonathan and Buhari were obtained from the records of the Nigeria Security Tracker, NST, a project of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Africa programme, which documented and mapped violence in Nigeria motivated by political, economic or social grievances.

However, the death toll under Tinubu is based on media reports.

In all, the figures are conservative because some killings are under-reported or not reported.
In January 2024, troops killed 266 terrorists and bandits in operations across the country. In February 2024, troops neutralised 974 terrorists.

In the last two months, the Chairman of Benue Ethnic Leaders and President General of Mzough U Tiv, MUT, worldwide, Chief lorbee Ihagh, claimed that herdsmen militia had killed no fewer than 147 persons in various attacks on Benue communities.

As of March 21, no fewer than 432 lives had been lost to insecurity in the third month of the year
Recurring bandits’ attacks in Zamfara, Niger, Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Kebbi and many North-East and North-Central states have led the deaths and kidnap of thousands of people.

The South-East states where unknown gunmen are wreaking havoc are not spared. So also states of South-South and parts of South-West where criminal gangs and armed herdsmen operate.

How 2,059 were killed in Jonathan’s first 10 months
May 2011 – 29
June 2011 – 59
July 2011 – 94
Aug 2011 – 131
Sept 2011 – 109
Oct 2011 -72
Nov 2011 – 254
Dec 2011 – 348
Jan 2012 – 418
Feb 2012 – 226
Mar 2012 – 319
Total — 2,059

Death toll in Buhari’s first 10 months
May 2015 -767
June 2015 -808
July 2015 -1,299
Aug 2015 – 790
Sept 2015 – 514
Oct 2015 – 826
Nov 2015 – 510
Dec 2015 – 809
Jan 2016 – 484
Feb 2016 – 1,076
Mar 2016 – 468
Total — 8,356

How 6,931 persons were killed under Tinubu in 10 months
May 2023 – 587
June 2023 – 690
July 2023 – 620
Aug 2023 – 682
Sept 2023 – 527
Oct 2023- 621
Nov 2023 – 869
Dec 2023 – 837
Jan 2024 – 666
Feb 2024 – 1,374
Mar 2024- 432
Total — 6,931@

Precise Post further recalls that due to the spate of killings, the National Assembly has held many meetings with the security chiefs while President Tinubu had repeatedly ordered the security chiefs to brace up and arrest the ugly trend.

Political pundits and security experts are of the view that State Police is the penacea to the insecurity ravaging the country but beneficiaries of the insecurity are using baseless argument of misuse of state police by sitting governors to shut down the public intetest state police.

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