Jihadists using lockdown to wreak havoc — Expert
A Lagos-based security expert, Dr Ona Ekhomu, has raised the alarm that the country is under the siege of foreign jihadists and militias.
He said northern governors and the Federal Government were treating the matter with levity by describing the attackers as bandits, adding that they were terrorists.
Ekhomu, who is the President of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria, spoke on Monday while reacting to the killing of 47 villagers in three local government areas of Kastina State.
He described the attack as a crime against humanity, adding that it also showed that life was cheap in the country.
The security expert noted that the hoodlums took advantage of the COVID-19 lockdown to wreak havoc.
“How could about 450 terrorists operating on about 150 motorbikes sweep through three local government areas, killing, maiming and looting and yet there was no law enforcement or military response?
“The undue concentration of security forces in major cities exposes the vulnerability of the nation’s security systems. The Federal Government must hold the Commissioner of Police in Katsina State and the military commander there responsible for the security lapses that resulted in the preventable deaths,” he added.
Ekhomu, who is the first chartered security professional in West Africa, said some of the terrorists were from Mali, Sudan (Janjaweed militia), Burkina Faso and other “unstable countries.”
He said the continuous attacks by the terrorists showed that the use of appeasement by the Katsina Governor, Aminu Masari, and other North-West governors was ineffective.
He said, “Some foes are simply implacable. West African jihadists who have engaged in trafficking in women, drugs, guns and cigarettes in the Sahelian zone for many years now see Nigeria as a fertile ground to plunder. These are the same groups that are fighting the governments and peoples of Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, etc. They are involved in cattle rustling and have the munitions to take on a small army. They know the forests well and can live off the land.”
The policy analyst urged the Federal Government not to be distracted by the COVID-19 pandemic while citizens were being slaughtered.
He appealed that all security and intelligence agencies be organised to combat the threat of the invasion.