To say that the soil of Nigeria is soaked in blood is to state it very mildly. From the Boko Haram bloodletting through the Fulani herdsmen’s carnage and now to the unknown gunmen’s gory operations, the country has never had it so bad.
The fact has not been helped by the seeming collapse of the country’s security apparatus, with the criminals virtually having fun. This, certainly, is not the best way for any country to survive.
However, more worrisome and ominous is what is playing out in the Southeast states. It is the issue of the unknown gunmen. These people, whoever they are, have been targeting security personnel; killing and carting away their arms. Indeed, what started as a run of the mill criminality has now blossomed to what can well become a full scale war.
In the early hours of April 5th, Owerri, the Imo State capital, virtually went up in flames as criminal elements set fire to the Correctional (Prisons) facility in the city and reportedly freed about 1, 500 inmates, telling them, ‘Go home, Jesus has risen. You have no reason to be here.’ They were said to have gained entry into the facility by using explosive devices.
They also reportedly attacked the headquarters of the Imo State Police Command, setting fire to the offices and vehicles. They also freed many inmates in the police cells there.
Before then they were said to have gathered in front of Government House, Owerri, chanting war songs.
The Owerri incident was preceded by the killing of police personnel attached to former Central Bank Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, in his Isuofia Community in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State. The Anambra State Commissioner for Public Utilities, who was at the event, was kidnapped and released two days after.
It was not more than a day after this that five people were kidnapped at the boundary of Aguleri/Nando in Anambra State. Two of the victims were rescued, while the police launched a manhunt of the culprits and other victims as at the time of going to press.
Yet before then, many police personnel had been killed across Anambra, Imo and Abia States, including Delta.
In Ebonyi, about 16 people were slaughtered by people believed to be Fulani, a development that triggered outrage among the people of the state.
The security situation in the Southeast is dire and needs very urgent attention before it escalates into something else if unchecked. It is a dangerous thing to allow criminals to overrun anywhere as such is a recipe for anarchy.
Whoever are behind these attacks should please sheathe their swords. There are better ways of expressing anger than killing others. Those being killed are largely innocent and they have families who depend on them. The entire thing is plain madness. It just doesn’t make sense.
We appeal for reason to prevail. We cannot solve our problems by killing one another, especially when we are not in a state of war.
May God help his people.