A former Governor of Kaduna State, Colonel Abubakar Dangiwa Umar (Rtd), Wednesday, said the activities of bandits and Boko Haram in the Northern part of the country constituted major threat to Nigeria and not the secessionist call by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Col Dangiwa, in a statement yesterday, said the appraisal of the arrest of the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, by the presidency was an exaggeration of the security threat IPOB and its leader posed to the existence of Nigeria.
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He said the attacks by bandits that had rendered thousands homeless and deprived farmers from visiting their farmlands should be of great worry and accorded greater attention.
“It is quite strange and disturbing that the federal government is according undue attention to the threats of separatist movements in contrast to the more daunting ones posed by bandits, kidnappers and insurgents in the North West, some parts of North Central and the North East.
“Activities of those criminals have resulted in the evacuation of over 20 per cent of the villages in North West and North East. Hundreds are being murdered and maimed every week. Many more are kidnapped for ransom. Millions have been rendered internally displaced, facing diseases and starvation. Over 1,000 school children were abducted in the past eight months with over 300 still in the hands of the bandits and kidnappers demanding humongous ransom payments. Rape of women and young girls has become a daily occurrence. Most economic activities, particularly farming, which is the mainstay of the people in these areas, are now all but impossible,” he said.
He further said Northerners living in areas affected by insecurity were unaware of the activities of separatists, but banditry, kidnapping and insurgency which were of greater threat to the economic development of the country.
While condemning the brutal method IPOB was using to call for secession, he accused President Muhammadu Buhari of mismanaging the diversity of Nigeria as evident in his statement of not to treat all parts of the country equal due to the disparity of votes he got in a region.