According to Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (Rtd), the activities of bandits and Boko Haram posed the greatest danger to Nigeria before the call for secession made by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Col Dangiwa said yesterday that the administration’s assessment of the security threat posed by IPOB and its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, was exaggerated.
The attacks by bandits which left thousands homeless and prevented farmers from visiting their farms should be of great concern and given greater attention, he said.
“I find it quite strange and disturbing that the federal government pays undue attention to the threats of separatist movements in comparison to those posed by bandits, kidnappers and insurgents in the North West, some parts of North Central and the North East.
The activities of those criminals have led to the evacuation of over 20 per cent of the villages in the North West and North East. Every week, hundreds of people are murdered and maimed. Ransom is demanded by many more kidnappers. Millions of people have been internally displaced, facing diseases and starvation. In the past eight months, over 1,000 school children have been abducted with over 300 still in the hands of bandits and kidnappers seeking humongous ransom payments. The rape of women and girls has become a daily occurrence. He said “most economic activities, particularly farming, the mainstay of the people in these areas, are all but impossible.”.
Additionally, he said that Northerners living in insecure areas are unaware of separatist activities, but that banditry, kidnapping, and insurgency pose a greater threat to the economic development of the country.
Despite condemning the brutal method IPOB used to call for secession, he claims President Muhammadu Buhari was mismanaging Nigeria’s diversity, as evident in his comment that not all parts of the country got the same amount of votes.