Unless something is done to occupy ungoverned spaces, improve intelligence gathering and block communication channels of bandits, Nigerians may continue to witness increase in abductions and killings across the country.
Security experts who spoke to THE WHISTLER against the backdrop of the abduction of scores of travelers on the Abuja-Kaduna road on Sunday, warned that more of such attacks will occur unless the federal and state governments take necessary actions.
Viral social media videos showed no fewer than six vehicles that were abandoned after suspected bandits reportedly kidnapped their occupants on the popular highway.
A former Zamfara State governorship aspirant, Sagir Hamida, is among those believed to have been killed by the bandits.
Kabir Adamu, a security analyst, told this website that bandits are taking advantage of the country’s frail security architecture to enrich themselves while hurting innocent citizens.
He said the boldness with which the assailants carried out the attack at daytime reflects the frightening level of insecurity in the country.
“As long as we have the ungoverned spaces where these bandits are able to hide and come out and carry out atrocities, they will continue to carry out such activities.
“In this instance they came out of the forest – ungoverned spaces. They blocked the road, abducted those they will abduct, kill the ones that they killed and took their victims into the same routes that they came from.
“They are going to hold these victims there; they are going to negotiate ransom and eventually when they collect that money, they are going to release them.
“So, until we dominate those places and stop bandits or criminals from occupying these ungoverned spaces to hide and carry out their activities, unfortunately it will continue”.
The security expert further identified inefficient intelligence gathering by security agencies as part of the problem.
“These people moved until they came to that place. Somebody would have seen them, how come that person did not raise the alarm to the relevant authorities and security agencies and they would have alerted road travelers – all that didn’t happen until travelers witnessed and reported it”.
He added that despite the incident occurring over 12 hours ago, there has been no official statement on the number of people taken or killed by the attackers.
“We are not aware that there was any response in terms of following the tracks of those that took away the victims,” he said.
Another security expert who spoke to THE WHISTLER on the condition of anonymity said none of the security authorities will speak until the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali-Baba, is briefed.
He advised residents of the Federal Capital Territory and neighbouring states to be more vigilant as the bandits may carry out more of such attacks.
The Sunday attack came one month after suspected terrorists detonated explosives along the Kaduna-Abuja rail track, but there was no casualty.
The Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security, Samuel Aruwan, and the state’s police command’s spokesperson did not respond to phone calls put across to them by our correspondent.