• Wed. Jan 19th, 2022

Attack on NDA, Slap on Military, Yoruba, Northern Elders are Enraged

Aug 25, 2021

“The fact that a fortified military institution could be so easily invaded by armed militias without resistance has led us to the conclusion that no part of this country or citizen, regardless of status, is safe again. The attack is a slap in the face to Nigeria’s intelligence and armed forces.”

Barely five days after the President’s National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd. ), declared that the President’s security strategies were working due to the questionable surrender of Boko Haram terrorists to security forces, bloodthirsty gunmen attacked the nation’s foremost military university, the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna State, killing two military officers.

Lieutenant Commodore Awolor Wulah and Flight Lieutenant Commodore Okoronkwo were shot by unknown gunmen, and Major Stephen Datong was kidnapped.

Around 1:00 a.m., the bandits arrived on motorbikes and stormed the army barracks on Airport Road, Afaka, in Kaduna’s Igabi Local Government Area.

According to a source, the gunmen, who were dressed in military camouflage, beat the guards and made their way to the institution’s officers’ quarters.

In addition, the military base is directly across the street from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation in Afaka, where 39 students were kidnapped by bandits on March 11, 2021. The bandits demanded N500 million a few days after their kidnapping, but they were eventually released after spending 50 days in the bandits’ den due to negotiations.

According to reports, personnel monitoring closed-circuit television (CCTV) at the academy were reportedly sleeping when bandits attacked the premises yesterday.

According to a source, the bandits broke into the facility through an unfenced area. “It was the middle of the night, and the people who were supposed to be monitoring the CCTV had gone to bed. They could have alerted everyone and prevented the attack.

“The gunmen worked for hours and then vanished without a trace. Soldiers in the barracks attempted but failed to track them down after they left. They couldn’t even kill one of them. They looked all over the forest but couldn’t find them. They had fled away with there motorbikes.”

According to the source, the academy authorities will court martial some soldiers for failing to secure the area. According to Major Bashir Muhd Jajira, the academy’s spokesperson, the security architecture of the institution was compromised, allowing the bandits to gain access to the well-fortified institution.

“The academy, in collaboration with the 1 Division Nigerian Army, Air Training Command, and other security agencies in Kaduna, has since begun pursuit of the unknown gunmen within the general area with the goal of tracking them down and rescuing the abducted personnel,” he said.

“In the academy, the NDA community and cadets are safe. We assure the public that the unknown gunmen will be apprehended and the abducted personnel will be rescued as soon as possible.”

However, another military source told the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) that the bandits have contacted the authorities and demanded a N200 million ransom for Datong.

“They have called to request N200 million in order to release the Major. The attack was absurd. They came in, teased us, and then left. Even a helicopter hovering in the trees couldn’t find them.”

Concerned about the security breach at NDA, the Kaduna State Government has urged citizens to help the military and security agencies in their fight against banditry and kidnapping. The report of the incident was received with sadness by the state government.

“Being the host of the academy and a partner in several spheres of national security, Governor Nasir el-Rufai has been briefed of the development, and on behalf of the government, has prayed for the repose of the souls of the personnel who lost their lives,” said Samuel Aruwan in a statement.

“Furthermore, the government expresses its unequivocal support for the armed forces and all security agencies who are making enormous sacrifices on multiple fronts.”

THE ACF (Arewa Consultative Forum) has also expressed shock at the attack. According to ACF, the invasion and desecration of the factory where all Nigerian military officers are produced is evidence that the country’s security system is in reverse gear.

Emmanuel Yawe, National Publicity Secretary of the ACF, stated that the founding fathers of Northern Nigeria who brought the NDA to Kaduna did not bring it for the current generation to hand over to bandits.

“The Forum hopes that the abducted officer is found and that the criminals who kidnapped him are brought to justice. The latest security breach is yet another source of embarrassment for the ACF. The NDA is a proud monument to the first generation of Northerners who fought hard to bring development to the North, including Muhammadu Ribadu, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, and Sir Ahmadu Bello, who brought the institution to Kaduna.

“This is an institution that is not only a source of pride for the North, but also for Nigeria. Many African countries send their military officers here to be trained. It is truly tragic that ordinary street bandits will infiltrate a military institution of such high national and international repute, outwit the security system and men present, kill officers, and flee to an unknown location.

“Will our current generation of northerners sit and watch as these legacies are destroyed?” Are we waiting for bandits to attack Aso Rock Villa, the government’s seat of power, before this administration takes banditry and insurgency seriously?

“The ACF has repeatedly stated that there is everything seriously wrong with the management of our security. A Nigerian Airforce fighter plane was shot down the other day by so-called bandits. Today, the factory that produces all Nigerian military officers has been invaded and desecrated. What else do we need to demonstrate that our national security system is in reverse?”

Northern elders have also blamed the Tuesday attack on a failure of Nigeria’s intelligence network, and have demanded that the NSA, Monguno, be fired immediately.

In a statement issued by its national coordinator, Zana Goni, the group under the aegis of the Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development (CNEPD) requested an in-depth review of the entire security architecture, as the entire security chiefs must bear the blame for the attack.

Noting that their position was based on patriotism for the country, the elders insisted that it was time for the President to fire Monguno in light of the country’s worsening insecurity.

“The fact that a fortified military institution could be so easily invaded by armed militias without resistance has led us to the conclusion that no part of this country or citizen, regardless of status, is safe again. The attack is a slap in the face to Nigeria’s intelligence and armed forces.”

THE YORUBA COUNCIL OF ELDERS (YCE) called the invasion a disgrace and a terrifying development. Dr Kunle Olajide, National Secretary of YCE, said the development demonstrated that nowhere in the country is safe anymore.

“I believe it is a special message from the bandits to Nigerians that we should be prepared. They have struck at the heart of Nigeria’s power. Security agencies must brace themselves. This is, to say the least, terrifying, and the Federal Government must take action to protect not only the military establishments, but the entire country. Something must be done immediately to restructure our security architecture.”

REACTING, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the decision by some state governments to evacuate their citizens from violent and terror-infested states, including Plateau, confirmed that Nigerians have lost faith in President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration’s ability to secure the country.

The party lamented that the security situation had deteriorated so much under President Buhari and the APC’s watch that bandits are now daring to attack military formations, including the NDA.

The PDP lamented in a statement issued by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, that “bandits and terrorists are now freely ravaging our communities in Kano, Kaduna, Kogi, Benue, Zamfara, Adamawa, Taraba, Borno, Yobe, Imo, and other states, including Mr. President’s home state, Katsina, where the governor, Aminu Bello Masari, has now asked victims of terror

“It is heartbreaking that, having lost faith in the President’s ability and commitment to protect their citizens, state governments are now sending vehicles to the University of Jos (UNIJOS) to evacuate their citizens.”

“It is even more disheartening that while our nation is in turmoil and hundreds of helpless Nigerians, including innocent students, are languishing in kidnappers’ dens, President Buhari and APC leaders are more interested in their lavish funfair with state-owned resources and facilities,” the party says.

The party urged Nigerians to hold the APC directly accountable for the country’s escalating terrorism, saying that “history will continue to mark the administration for its mass failure in governance and for plunging our nation into the worst form of hardship and suffering ever.”

Credit: https://m.guardian.ng 

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