The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has decried the level of insecurity plaguing the nation and blames the Federal Government and the security forces for failing to anticipate and preempt the terrorist attack on the Kaduna Airport and the horrific attack on a Kaduna-bound train on the night of Monday, March 29, 2022.
CAPPA said that the twin incidents in less than 24 hours indicate a disturbing escalation of terrorist activities, even as it insists that in the last four years Nigerians have become prey and easy targets for ragtag insurgents who could be easily crushed by the military but unfortunately are allowed free rein to perpetrate violence across the land.
While one person is said to have died during the attack on the airport, those reportedly killed in the train attack are a medical doctor, Chinelo Megafu; the General Secretary of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Barrister Musa Lawal M. Ozigi; and TUC Chairman, Kwara State Chapter, Comrade Akin Akinsola; among many others. Reports indicate that the terrorists also abducted many travellers who are yet to be identified.
In a statement issued in Lagos, CAPPA maintained that the dilly dallies by the government on the actual number of the dead, the kidnapped and the actual number of people on the train is a trivialisation of simple security measures by those Nigerians have entrusted their destinies upon.
Akinbode Oluwafemi, CAPPA Executive Director, said: “It is sad that as we speak the number of the dead keep rising while the government is yet to ascertain the number kidnapped and talk more of where they are being held. Where in the world does that happen?
“As far as we are concerned, this is one tragedy too many! We place the responsibility and blame for this misfortune on the shoulders of the Federal Government whose monumental failure, cluelessness and lack of tact have continued to cause Nigerians to die like flies!
“The buck stops on the table of Mr. President. The daily occurrence of tragedy and frightening collapse of security infrastructure across all areas of the country is no longer acceptable.”
The CAPPA head mourned the deaths and injuries visited upon innocent travelers and demanded that the national flag be flown at half-mast as a sign of the nation’s grief.
The group added: “We demand that adequate support and compensation be provided to all victims of this incident and their families. These include free and adequate medical attention to all the injured and spirited actions to rescue those reported kidnapped.
“It is quite indeed a testimony of monumental failure that these tragic incidents happened in Kaduna despite the heavy presence of military infrastructure in the state. There are no fewer than six military formations in Kaduna. They include Jaji Miltary Cantonment; Division Headquarters, Nigerian Army Kaduna; New Barracks, otherwise known as Kotoko Barracks; Old Site of the Nigerian Defense Academy, Kaduna; Kalanpazi Barracks (Artillery Regiment) and the Nigerian Airforce Base. Insecurity and living conditions have worsened across the country since the Buhari government mounted the saddle of governance.
“In all these, we also note with disappointment, the many insensitive and unverifiable statements of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who less than 48 hours before the incidents, claimed that Nigerians now enjoy peace as they travel across the country.
“Nigerians are tired of the scripted response of the government and the security agencies whenever these incidents occur. What Nigerians need is genuine leadership that will take on these challenges headlong and with sincere commitment.
“While the federal government has continued to mouth claims of its investment in high-powered equipment to bolster the efforts of the army in the fight against the raging insecurity in the country, the truth is that these investments are more for showmanship and do not cut across. Nigerian soldiers in the frontline are still under-equipped and outgunned by terrorists, bandits, and criminal elements on a rampage in the country. Aside from this, the welfare of the security personnel has been left unattended as the recent planned strike by the police officers in the country demonstrates.
“At this stage, the question of pay and welfare of the army, police, and members of other law enforcement agencies must be addressed immediately. There is no doubt that the mounting challenges of insecurity that plague the country are linked to the dampened morale of security agents and first responders who are underpaid, ill-utilized and under-equipped.
“While CAPPA commiserates with all victims of the unfortunate train attack, we call on Nigerians to rise in unison to say enough is enough to this state of abnormality and ask the current administration to wake up or quit if it cannot arrest the senseless killings of helpless citizens across every area of the country.”