Kaduna-Abuja train: Govt colluding with bandits – Nigerians raise concerns



The Nigerian Government has been accused of colluding with bandits following the recent attacks on the Kaduna International Airport and a rail line in the State.


Deji Adeyanju, the convener of Concerned Nigerians, said President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Service Chiefs and governors would take the issue of insecurity seriously when they become victims.


Within one week, bandits attacked the Kaduna Airport and also blew up the Kaduna-Abuja rail line.


The bandits were said to have stormed the Kaduna Airport on Saturday at about 12.30 pm and prevented an aircraft from taking off.


Confirming the incident, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, said security agents repelled the bandits and restored normalcy to the airport.


While the State was yet to recover from the incident, bandits struck again; their latest attack was the bombing of a rail line between Katari and Rijani train station, along the Kaduna-Abuja route.


It was observed that banditry activities along the Kaduna-Abuja road has reduced, while the rail line seems to be those gunmen’s latest target.


The heavy presence of military and other security agencies in Kaduna, which houses almost all training schools for the military and other security architecture in the country, has not been maximized in tackling insecurity in the State.


Amid this security presence, the State has continued to witness a high-level increase in insecurity, a situation that has made some Nigerians believe that the Government is colliding with these bandits.


Speaking on the matter, Deji Adeyanju, an Abuja-based activist, said the way bandits operate freely leaves room to suspect that the Government was colluding with bandits.


Adeyanju said: “Our politicians do not take the insecurity situation in the country seriously; the Service Chiefs do not take it seriously because it’s a business to them now; you know they are smiling to the bank at the same expense of the Nation.


“The governors, Senators, National Assembly do not take it seriously. They would only take it seriously when the governor or Minister becomes the victim or parliamentarians become the victim. My appeal to these bandits is that they should leave the ordinary Nigerian and face these big people.


“The only way we can find a solution is if the President, Vice President, governors, and Service Chiefs are affected.


“Our leaders are playing politics and joking with the lives of Nigerians; insecurity in the country has become an enterprise; you can see what happened with Abba Kyari.


“There is no way you can tell me that these criminals will be operating freely. The DSS had intelligence when people wanted to protest, but they had no intelligence when an airport was attacked. The DSS does have intelligence reports and even kill innocent protesters all over the country, but when it’s time to have imminent reports on a place like the Kaduna-Abuja railway and a major airport in the country, they claim to be ignorant.


“There is deliberate collusion somewhere, it seems like the Government and these bandits are working together, or the bandits are working for our leaders and the Security Chiefs, because there is no explanation that there would be a complete failure of intelligence in the entire country. In the whole country, there would be no intelligence to suggest that there would be an imminent attack on critical infrastructures like the Kaduna Airport or the Kaduna-Abuja railway line, but they have security reports on every protest in the country. So, you can see that there is collusion somewhere.”


He alleged compromise by Nigerian leaders in the area of insecurity.


“We must call a spade by its name; there is no gainsaying that there is a high level of compromise by our leaders in the ongoing security challenges in the country.


“Recently, these bandits attacked a military barrack in Kaduna and abducted someone with ransom paid. So you can see that there is a complete failure of architecture in the country, and that is why I alleged compromised.


“In my mind, the Government is working with bandits because there is no justification whatsoever that these guys are working unabated or are not being aided by people in Government. After all, that can be the only explanation for what is happening in the country,” he added.


Similarly, an Abuja-based lawyer, Anthony Ehilebo, accused politicians and some military officers of having an “understanding” with bandits.


Ehilebo accused the Government of being lackadaisical about tackling the activities of banditry.


Speaking with our correspondent, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Director of New Media, recalled that Governor Nasir El-Rufai once paid bandits off.


He said: “My security people told me that such operations would not take the Nigerian military police 24 hours. Still, the Government has been lackadaisical about it; perhaps it’s because we are getting close to an election. Don’t forget that bandits have been known to say they were brought in for election purposes in 2015, and they have not been settled.


“We are politicians, and some of us think long-term. They believe that they would decimate a particular population so they can’t vote from there, which is Kaduna’s unfortunate story.


“They started with the road three or four years ago, and I dare any brave politician to travel along the Kaduna-Abuja road. To think that our Government can’t secure two hours road? People are no longer traveling on the road; they now prefer trains, and these bandits sometimes kidnap them. What makes you think these bandits have an agenda? They don’t have an agenda; the agenda of Boko Haram has been outlived, and now what they are doing is survival; they are making a lot of money.


“Our intelligence agencies have so much resources that can be used to pick up all these bandits. There is a guy on Twitter that knows all the bandits and their leaders and he is very accurate in his information, so, why should Nigerians be made to pay for this Government’s incompetence?


“These politicians have deals with these guys (bandits) to help them deliver areas during elections. There is nothing anybody will tell me that these military don’t have an understanding with these guys (bandits) because you can’t come to Edo State and say you want to kill people, and they won’t go after you. Don’t forget that El-Rufai paid these guys money at some point and what did they do? They used the money to buy arms, and this is what you think you know. Do you know how he has been settling them?”

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