Monday’s terrorists’ attack on Abuja-Kaduna rail travellers have further affirmed the incompetence of the nation’s service chiefs. Security breaches across the country have become a regular sight but it seems to have peaked this year. The military heads must take full responsibility and resign.
As customary, the bombing of the Abuja-Kaduna train was followed by a meeting between President Buhari and his service heads. In a sane society, that wouldn’t have been the case. These men should have resigned honourably before being summoned by the Commander-in-Chief.
According to a manifest released by the Kaduna State Government, 398 passengers bought tickets for the trip but 362 were validated to have boarded the train through the gate. While eight have been confirmed dead, 26 were injured.
But several of the passengers were noted to be unaccounted for during search operation. The train was forced to a halt after the terrorists planted bombs on the tracks. Witnesses said the attackers later surrounded most of the coaches and opened fire before they forcefully gained access, fired at random, which led to the death of some people.
Some witnesses said about nine corpses from the ill-fated train have been recovered and deposited at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Kaduna, while doctors have been battling to save the lives of those who sustained critical gunshot wounds.
The train service is perceived as the “safest” in recent times as a result of the rampant attacks by terrorists on the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway, which had claimed hundreds of lives in the last few years. But these terrorists have also taken to the rail service and attacked the train in October.
The latest incident followed an onslaught on the Kaduna International Airport where a security guard with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency was killed. The criminals even prevented a Lagos-bound plane from embarking on the journey.
This is besides several attacks by terrorists across the state. About 50 persons were reportedly killed recently and several others kidnapped in Giwa Local Government. About 37 innocent souls were murdered in a similar manner at Agban Kagoro Chiefdom in Kaura Local Government. Even at the peak of Boko Haram insurgency, terrorists didn’t operate with such reckless abandon.
A grim statistics reveal that hundreds of Nigerians are either kidnapped or killed in gruesome manner every week. In Kaduna alone, over 90 were murdered according to the state government last week. Scary for a state with over a dozen military formations and institutions.
Across the nation, there are different security threats. In the South-East, IPOB-clad terrorists are having a field time. In the middle belt, there’s the communal clashes. Boko Haram/ISWAP are still launching pockets of attacks in the northeast. Bandits, meanwhile, have never had a better spell in the northwest.
The current service chiefs seem to still be on orientation courses. Their body language appears as though they are yet to understand the severity of the situation, already overwhelmed. There is practically no new innovations, strategies or operations.
These crop are never on the frontlines. You can predict all their moves. After every attack, expect some arrests, press statements and new set of surrendered Boko Haram terrorists.
Human lives have lost value in this nation. Those whose jobs are to protect innocent citizens are busy on tours attending political meetings and issuing empty directives.
It is clear that those in charge of the security agencies are incompetent and should leave or be made to leave. Nigerians have continually become vulnerable to terrorist attacks in their homes. With these attacks, Nigerians cannot even travel either by road, rail, or air at the moment. Severally, terrorists have killed kidnapped or burnt travellers in their cars. Terrorists are shutting down this country.
President Buhari has shown the will to end this menace. He approved the purchase of enough modern and sophisticated weapons and other military hardware, which, if properly deployed, would have boosted the fight against terrorism. However, lack of coordination by the CDS and the intelligence setup accounts for this failure, leading to the death of many Nigerians. These attacks are preventable.
The military has not justified the billions of Naira put into the security sector through the welfare of personnel and military hardware. Let the current security chiefs resign or be sacked for the safety of Nigerians. This is the immediate response to the failure of the military in tackling the security challenges in the country.