By: Israel Umoh
The senseless killings and reprisal attacks in Nigeria’s Southern Kaduna Friday, August 14, wore a new face as Federal Government deployed Special Forces to restore peace in the troubled spots.
The forces approved by the Defence Headquarters and drawn from the Nigerian Army had arrived at Kafanchan ahead of their deployment to the various flashpoints in the area later Friday.
Their mission is to help in quelling the frequent attacks that have roasted hundreds of lives, many houses and other property.
They were received at Sector 7, the headquarters of Operation Safe Haven, by the Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan.
Aruwan charged them to take the battle to the bandits and ensure that peace and security are restored to southern Kaduna.
He called on non-state actors, especially residents of the affected communities to give their maximum support to the troops during the period of the operation through intelligence sharing mechanism.
Mailafia’s Claim On sponsorship of Boko Haram
A former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, opened the Pandora’s Box on the lingering crisis in Southern Kaduna.
According to him, he and other stakeholders in the region have had conversations with some of the repented bandits and they told them that a governor in one of the Northern states in the country is the commander of the terrorist group, Boko Haram, in Nigeria.
Mailafia, who is also a stakeholder in Southern Kaduna, said this in an interview with Nigeria Info FM on August 8 “Let me make some revelations because some of us also have our own intelligence network.
“We have met with some of the bandits, we have met with some of their high commanders, one or two who have repented. They have sat down with us, not once, not twice.
“They told us that one of the Northern governors is the commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria.
“Boko Haram and the Bandits are one and the same in Nigeria. They have a sophisticated network.
“During this lockdown, their planes were moving up and down as though there was no lockdown, moving ammunition, moving logistics, moving money and distributing in different parts of the country.
“They are already in the South. They are everywhere. They told us that when they finish these rural killings, they would move to phase 2. Phase 2 is that they would go into the urban cities, going from house to house, killing prominent people. I can tell you, this is the game plan.
“By 2022, they want to start a civil war in Nigeria. Don’t joke with what I am saying, I have a Ph.D from Oxford University. I am a Central Banker; we don’t talk nonsense. Don’t joke with what I am telling you.”
When asked if the governor he earlier mentioned is a current or former governor, Obadiah said “Current. They said one of them is the commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria and they are not looking for money, they have more than enough”
DSS Invited, Interrogated Mailafia
Rattled by the weighty allegation, the Department of State Services (DSS) Thursday invited and drilled Mailafia, over a claim he made that a governor from the North is the leader of Boko Haram, for six hours.
Confirming the invitation, Mailafia said “We have met with some of their high commanders, they have sat down with us not once, not twice,” he had said.
“They told us that one of the northern governors is the commander of Boko Haram in Nigeria. Boko Haram and the bandits are one and the same.
“During this lockdown, their planes were moving up and down as if there was no lockdown.”
While confirming his invitation on Tuesday, Mailafia said he is expected to be at the office of the secret police in Jos, Plateau State, on Wednesday.
“Yes, it is true,” the former CBN deputy governor admitted.
“The DSS invited me to appear in their Jos office tomorrow by noon.”
The DSS, Friday described as fake news the claim made by a former CBN deputy governor, Obadiah Mailafia, that a northern governor is the leader of Boko Haram.
The DSS through its spokesman, Peter Afunanya, said that the claim is part of an effort to cause a break down of law and order in the country.
The agency wondered why Mailafia who has unfettered access to security agencies didn’t see it fit to inform them before going on the radio with the claim.
“On 27th July, 2020, the Department of State Services (DSS) alerted the nation about desperate efforts by some notable personalities to use their exalted positions; take advantage of developments in the country and cause a total breakdown of law and order. It also revealed that part of the orchestrations was to engage in divisive acts as well as use inciting statements to pit one group against another.
“With the latest occurrences in the country, Nigerians may have no reason to doubt the Service’s earlier pronouncement. Dr. Obadiah Mailafiya’s recent outburst aimed at playing to the gallery and creating unnecessary tension is a confirmation of his group’s desperation to breach the peace.
“Mailafiya, as a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and currently, a Directing Staff at Nigeria’s foremost Policy Research Institute, the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, has unhindered access to government platforms. It is expected that he should be conversant with official information management protocols.
“But regrettably, he chose to cross the lines of decorum and conduct expected of a personality of his status. It is disappointing that he never took advantage of these to reach any of the security or related agencies to share the so-called information at his disposal. This, he has agreed to be a grievous error on his part. It, however, suggests his mischief and determination to use the fake news he spewed to incite the people under his control.
“It is even more condemnable that Mailafiya, who had profusely apologized during his visit to the Service’s Plateau State Command for his ignoble statement, would, afterward, announce to the world that he stood by his misguided eruption.
“Similarly, the Service also wishes to warn others, who in the guise of political mobilization and supposed pursuit of group interests, engage in hostile and subversive activities, to desist forthwith from advancing their inimical and parochial causes.
“The Service will not stand idly and watch disgruntled and aggrieved elements take laws into their hands and cause mayhem in the polity.
“In line with its mandate of detecting and preventing threats and crimes against the internal security of Nigeria, the Service hereby reiterates its previous warning that it will henceforth not condone unruly conducts of persons and groups that ought to know better.
“In this regard, it will not hesitate to, within the confines of the law, decisively deal with such persons and/or groups, no matter how highly placed, that may wish to test its resolve. It will, nonetheless, continue to support participatory democracy in the country and therefore urges all players to abide by the rules of the game.
“On the other hand, the Service implores law-abiding citizens to go about their normal businesses without fear. It assures them of protection and pledges to strengthen existing measures designed to achieve this objective,” the statement concluded.
For some time now, Southern Kaduna has been turned to a killing cistern following the wanton waste of lives and property in the area by suspected gunmen.
On July 19, 21 people were killed while 28 others sustained various degrees of injuries when gunmen attacked Kukum Daji Village of Kaura Local Government Area of the state.
According to the President of the Community, Mr. Yashen Titus, the gunmen suspected to be herdsmen, invaded the venue of a wedding party in the community at about 10 pm.
Similarly, on July 7, no fewer than 38 persons lost their lives in separate attacks on two villages in Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna state on July 7.
The Council Chairman, Emmanuel Adamu, who confirmed the attack, said the gunmen unleashed mayhem on Ankpon Village in Nandu and Kabamu Village in Fadan Karshi, all of Numana district killing mostly women and children.
Again, no fewer than 33 people died during attacks on five communities in the Atyap Chiefdom in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area on August 7, 2020.
Until human minds are free from cobwebs of thinking and sincere words are matched with genuine actions, the killing cistern would continue to boil. Accusations and counter-accusations of the crisis would degenerate into worse but finding a lasting solution is a key to the mindless carnage.