The cascading level of insecurity ravaging most parts of Nigeria has heightened anxiety among members of the Diplomatic Community in the country as diplomats have reportedly restricted their movements across the states even within Abuja, the capital city where most of them are resident.
The Boko Haram fighters, ISWAP, al-Qaeda and bandits elements have reportedly invaded most parts of Nigeria with the ferocity of a mad horse let loose on hapless citizens. They have abducted many for ransom, maimed, killed scores and taken women and girls as sex slaves.
The most disturbing aspect appears to the seeming helplessness of the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari to tackle the menace, which lends credence to the insinuations that the government might be complicit in the violence with the aim to push for the alleged irredentist agenda of his Fulani ethnic group fingered in most of the extreme violence.
LEADERSHIP Sunday gathered that members of the international community are apprehensive of the threats posed by the staggering insecurity, and are taking adequate steps following security alerts from their home countries to survive the current storm in Nigeria.
Two days ago, the Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, raised the alarm that large parts of his state have been taken over by Boko Haram, and threatening Abuja, just 2 hours from the state. This is proof that the terrorists and their backers have become so brazen and emboldened to do more damage almost unrestrained.
One of the diplomats, from an African country, who spoke to LEADERSHIP Sunday, said “we have adjusted in everything, in movements and in interactions. So, it is affecting the diplomatic community. If you don’t know your area of operation then you are limited in your knowledge of the place. We move fearing that we might be abducted. So, we have to live by what is available.
“If the capital city is threatened now you cannot even imagine traveling to other parts of the country. If the policemen and the Nigerian military personnel on patrol are attacked how about us, very simple people, traveling? We can easily be smashed. The level of insecurity has grown unprecedented.”
Also coming from one of the Asian countries, was another tale of fear that “the situation has become so unbearable that members of the international community in Nigeria are being cautious.”
Corroborating the fears of the diplomatic Community, Public Affairs analyst, Dr. Katch Ononuju, said the situation “is a cause for alarm for the diplomatic community because they cannot be removed from the general feel of insecurity.”
He accused President Buhari of complicity in the crisis and tasked the diplomatic community to send wires to their home countries to mount pressure on Buhari to stem the crisis.
“All these coming from the foreign missions are simply meant to tell Buhari that outsiders are watching and the overwhelming report from us in Nigeria is that the government of Buhari does have a hand in the cascading violence in the country to promote Fulani intention,” Ononuju said.
He tasked the President to stem this violence because investors are leaving the country and moving to other countries. He said “no investor will come to Nigeria with this raging insecurity, they are moving to Ghana because they have the intelligence and people have been employed to do a proper analysis of the country.”
Also speaking on the raging issue, Public affairs analyst, Perry Opara, said insecurity is hurting Nigeria’s image abroad. He said “we must face the reality that the insecurity situation has expanded so very much that the move to get intelligence, advice and collaboration with countries and international organizations, have become imperative.
“Internal security cannot happen without external involvement, so, I am thinking that if the federal government thinks it is good to engage the international community it will help. Going forward the internal security in Nigeria should also be beefed up,” he said.
Last Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari, had a virtual meeting with the United States Secretary of States, Anthony Blinken, where he solicited support to tackle the menace, even as he debunked claims of government complicity describing it as unfortunate.
Also on Tuesday, The British Minister For Africa, James Duddridge, during a visit to Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affair, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the security situation in Nigeria “is massively complex and no partnership is going to resolve the multiplicity of problems whether it is Boko Haram or Daesh or a number of other issues.” He added that Britain remains Nigeria’s reliable ally in the fight against insurgency.
However, these collaborations have come under intense scrutiny as many have questioned their potency and efficacy especially on intelligence gathering when the Boko Haram fighters, ISWAP and al-qeada are having a field day ravaging communities in Nigeria and perhaps not as much response from the Nigerian security forces.