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Nigeria's Escalating ‘Insecurity’—Cui Bono?

Headlines on Dec. 26 jolted the holiday spirit in Nigeria, after well over 100 civilians were killed and hundreds more injured in violent raids in more than a dozen villages in central Plateau State over the Christmas weekend. Unfortunately, this is just the most recent in a steady stream of what could be classified as “domestic terror” incidents in Nigeria, as nomadic “herders” target sedentary “farmers” for diminishing food in a collapsing economy with runaway inflation.

In a statement yesterday, the President of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Sokoto State Sa’ad Abubakar III first commiserated with the victims and then strongly faulted the government for failure to preempt such incidents. As reported in Punch, Abubakar said: “We always condemn such things but after condemning such activities by these bandits and criminals, what are the roles of the governments who are supposed to protect our lives and property? Why can’t we be proactive and stop such attacks before they happen? What happened to our intelligence gathering mechanisms? Can anybody tell me that nobody knew that such attacks were coming up?... We must ask our governments to up the game because these bandits are always a step ahead.”

Getting closer to the core of the problem, the Sultan pointed to the “politicization” of the internal terror issue, and its manipulation by powerful elements within society. “For some of us who were opportune of serving in the military, we know the activities of the security agencies, so we keep on asking, what really is happening? Things are politicized and that’s the worst way to go when you politicize insecurity. We’re all in one big country where we have poverty.... No, it is the issue of leadership.”

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