By Austen Akhagbeme

Ever since the Jihadist group, Boko Haram, seized more than 200 students in a girls’ school in Chibok in Borno State a decade ago, it has become a regular tactic by criminal gangs to undermine and embarrass the State and its security apparatus any time a new government comes to power.

And so, when the dare-devilry act was announced, we all knew that the kidnap of over 200 students of government secondary school and the LEA Primary school Kuriga in Chukun local government area of Kaduna state was a familiar road to another round of a cold, heartlessly surreal negotiations between the terrorists and government officials and a money-spinning venture for the terrorists, to say the least.

This callous incident was quickly followed by a similar adoption of school children, numbering 15, by terrorists in the Gidan Bakuso area of Gada local government of Sokoto state. A week before, countless number of women in an IDP camp in Borno were whisked away by terrorists also.

The ridiculous ransom in Trillions of Naira demanded by the terrorists of the kidnapped victims from Kuriga and the subsequent call on the Federal government of President Bola Tinubu to go the way of negotiations by the controversial Islamic cleric, Sheikh Gumi, leaves much to be desired.

Nigeria and her security architecture are gradually becoming a quizzical puzzle waiting to be unraveled and a huge laughing stock in the eyes of the international community.

The relative ease with which large number of kidnapped victims are ferried into thick forests and huge ransoms flippantly demanded by these criminal gangs shows the level of contempt and disdain our security systems are being perceived by these terrorists.

This is the time for us to come up with a make-or-mar blueprint to mitigate the present state of insecurity and violence in our land. This can only be done by a sheer fearless determination to get to the root cause of insecurity and its artificial tributaries and a positive political will, on the part of the government, to do the needful.

But for a government that has so much baggage and challenges, both local and international, this becomes a Herculean task. Yet the reality of untimely deaths and the growing number of internally displaced persons in our midst as a result of insecurity, cannot be wished away.

Tears are flowing freely from the tired faces of our mothers in Kuriga whose only “crime” is to live and give birth to children in a hitherto peaceful geographical space called Kaduna state.

They’re asking when their wards will be returned to them in their various homes just as peaceful, hail, and hearty as they left for school a few days ago. And this should be the question on the lips of every concerned Nigerian today.

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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