OPINION | Certainly, Northern Nigeria is Worst Place to Live in, By Abba Dukawa

*President Muhammadu Buhari
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Nigerians in 2015  voted President Muhammadu Buhari to power in anticipation that as (a) former military head of state and a retired General, he was positioned to deal decisively with all forms of threats to security of the people. Out of 15,424,921 cast for him during 2015 elections, GMB gained more than 12 million votes from  the peoples of the Northern Nigerians.
 The peoples of the region expected to have fair treatment from the administration but the case is reverse  six years down the line, rather than abating it, insecurity has escalated thereby exposing a great number of people to avoidable deaths and loss of property in a manner that history has never witnessed.
Looking at the gory security situation in Northern states today, people are not safe in their residents, roads, farmlands, schools and mosques are not safe as they’re invaded by terrorists.
On a regular basis, several civilians and security personnel are killed by men of the underworld.  The situation is getting worse by the day. Bandits and insurgents appear to  exploit with disastrous consequences on communities and individuals. Therefore northerners absolutely have right to voice out their demands that the  administration rewards their loyalty in real terms by protecting their lives and properties.

It was under the watchful eyes of the present administration that  the North came across something called banditry and kidnapping that cost the lives of thousands. Mr President and his handlers clearly knew that Northern votes secured his first and second terms.

Six  years down the line  in office, the adminstration is characterised with insecurity, banditry, kidnapping, economic recession and other untold hardships.  The administration and its security apparatus are not on top of the situation because each passing day Nigerians are maimed by bandits and others, as these bandits display  certain degree of  impunity, scatter themselves and are walking freely.
The people, irrespective of social status, are tired of excuses and verbal threats which criminals laugh at, considering the escalation of attacks by bandits, rustlers and insurgents. It leaves one with the conclusion that the people of the North are now completely at the mercy of armed gangs who roam towns and villages at will, wreaking havoc.
It always  appears that both  the federal and state governments have lost control over  protecting people of the North, a constitutional duty that they swore to uphold.  Now the economy and security situation in the north are becoming unbeatable and  irrefutable evidence  that the administration does not care about the people of the North, the economy and security.
Today, Northern states  have turned into scarry zones with bandits, kidnappers and terrorists killing, kidnapping and raping innocent unarmed civilians without any challenge from the security agencies.   One may find it difficult to juxtapose the constitutional and primary responsibility of the government with the prevailing situation in the country under the watchful  eyes of the President  and state governors where scores of people are being killed on a daily basis and hundreds of others have abandoned their homes.
 Some week ago, nine students of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria were taken hostage by suspected Kidnappers along the Kaduna-Abuja expressway.  Another trragedy befell the same Ahmadu Bello University, (ABU) Samaru Zaria, community  when suspected kidnappers abducted a middle-aged woman and her 13-year-old daughter.
Gunmen stormed the official staff quarters of the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and kidnapped a lecturer in the attack. Bandits on motorcycles reportedly attacked a Jumaat Mosque and whisked away the Imam and some worshippers in a community in Zamfara State. Bandits kidnapp(ed a) pastor, 14 church worshippers (of) ECWA Church at Dankade Kaduna State and the lists is endless.
Some days ago, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar lll, lamented the high rate of insecurity in the North, saying the region is the worst place in the country  to live as  bandits (are) fast overrunning the North as residents  sleep with their eyes open.   They moved  from house to house, village to village, market to market, with AK-47 rifles  openly, purchasing foodstuffs and other items and even collecting  change.
Certainly,  insecurity in the north  has become a source of concern both to Nigerians and the international community,  each passing day the armed bandicts  has caused  more hardship to live with  threats to life and economy on our life.
I am  deeply shocked  that no fewer than 1,570 Nigerians were kidnapped between January and November 2020 in 366 reported cases. The kidnappers raked in over N311 million from payment of ransom by relatives of their victims within this period, though they demanded over N6.9 billion from their victims. The money paid did not include millions of naira paid by some families who chose to keep quiet because of threats or simply to have their peace.
A 2020 report by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) ranked Nigeria third only behind war-torn countries of Afghanistan and Iraq as most terrorized country in the world.
Other countries in the top 10 rank are Syria, Pakistan, Somalia and India. Yemen, Philippines and the Democratic Republic of Congo complete the list. Until now, Nigeria remains the third most impacted country in the world by terrorism – a position it has retained since 2015.
 In spite of PMB’s lamentation about the worrying security situation he still retains the service chiefs, whose strategies have not won the country any victory against criminals.  Nigerians need to have capable and willing hands around Mr President that he should experiment with some fresh hands in that capacity.
Mr President’s  praise-singers must understand remember that the poor northern masses are Mr President’s solid supporters and so their  hope has been dashed and the trust reposed in the  administration has been betrayed. People in the north irrespective of social status are sleeping with one eye open for fear of the degree of  impunity displayed by armed.
Dukawa, a public affairs commentator , wrote in from Kano and can be reached at abbahydukawa@gmail.com 
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