…as Minority Reps decry escalated terrorism attacks
President Muhammadu Buhari has said Mondday’s attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna, will not dampen the morale of the military but rather hasten their determination to end criminality in the country. Bandits had raided the NDA, a leading military training institution in the country, killing three officers. Responding to the development, the President in a release by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, said the intention of the bandits was to throw a dampener into the morale of the armed forces. According to him, contrary to their intention, the attacks will only succeed in buoying the military’s resolve to totally uproot evil in society.
The President noted that the attack, came at a time that military had put insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, and other types of criminals on the retreat, just as he added that the heinous crime would not stop the resolve of the armed forces to accomplish their mission of ridding the country of banditry. Commiserating with the families, who lost their loved ones, and praying God to comfort them, Buhari vowed that the deceased would not die in vain. He promised that the degenerate act would have consequences that would eventually clean the country of vermin, and emancipate the polity from deliberate, targeted and contrived atrocious acts.
Meanwhile, the minority caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the House of Representatives has said it is alarmed at the escalating terrorism and banditry across the country, particularly the invasion of the NDA resulting in the killing and abduction of military officers. In a statement signed by the minority leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, the caucus expressed sadness at the heightened attacks on military formations and mindless killings and maiming of innocent Nigerians by bandits and terrorists in various parts of the country, despite the assurances of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
“It is lamentable that hardly a day passes without the nation being jolted by reports of gruesome mass killings, abductions, arson and mindless plundering by terrorists and bandits who are now freely operating on our highways, schools and communities in various parts of the country.
“The situation has become extremely horrifying in Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Kano, Yobe, Benue, Borno, Niger and other states across our nation where killers and kidnappers are now having a field day raiding communities and killing our compatriots.
“Only yesterday night, 35 Nigerians were reportedly massacred in Yelwan Zangam in Jos, Plateau State, barely a week after innocent travellers were ambushed and brutally murdered in the state.” Continuing, Elumelu said: “Our caucus is distressed that every day, families are deprived of their breadwinners, scores of children are orphaned, wives are turned to widows, husbands turned to widowers, parents are made to bury their children hacked down in their prime, with others languishing in their captors’ dens and family source of livelihood destroyed. “The minority caucus, after extensive considerations demands an immediate and decisive action by APC-led Federal Government to check the ugly trend and save our nation from collapse. “Nigerians do not deserve to go through this form of harrowing experience. The APCled government must take drastic steps to save Nigerians from this insecurity.”
In a related development, the authorities of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), have constituted a board of enquiry to ascertain the remote and immediate causes of the daring attack on the military institution by suspected bandits, in the wee hours of Tuesday. A statement, Wednesday, by the Director of Defence Information Maj-Gen. Benjamin Sawyerr, said the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, gave the directive for the constitution of the investigation board. While assuring that efforts were being intensified towards bringing the perpetrators of the dastardly act to book, it vowed troops’ readiness to sustain on-going operations across theatres. “Let me use this opportunity, to reiterate that the NDA authorities, acting on the directive of the Chief of Defence Staff has constituted a board of enquiry to ascertain the remote and immediate cause(s) of the breach of security with a view to sanction any personnel found culpable and also prevent future occurrence.
“Let me also assure that we shall continue to update the general public as events unfold as we are all aware the search and rescue of the abducted officer is still on,” Sawyerr said. A former National Secretary of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and political critic, Buba Galadima, called for the resignation of the Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA), Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Manu Yusuf. Buba, who was reacting to the attack on the NDA, said it was a national embarrassment that should lead to the resignation of the Commandant.
According to him, with the attack on the NDA, Nigerians should start thinking of securing the military and not the other way round. He said he would have resigned was he the NDA Commandant. Galadima said: “It is a national embarrassment. I am not even talking about the loss of lives, it is a national embarrassment for bandits, a rag-tag army, to go to our very foundation of security in this country and attack the NDA and kill and kidnap serving officers. “Right now am trying to gather people like you so that we can give the military protection – they deserve our protection. If l were the commandant of the NDA I would have resigned.”