Saturday, 30 July 2016

Militants, Kidnappers, Herdsmen Turn Nigeria To War Zone.

Nigerians seem to have waved good times goodbye as militants, kidnappers and herdsmen have turned Nigeria to a war zone. Nobody is safe, including property.

 MATTHEW DIKE looks at what many Nigerians have suffered in the hands of these men of the underworld in recent times and what the country will continue to lose if  the dangerous trend persist.

Many  Nigerian youths have thrown decorum to the wind as they kill, maim and destroy property. Innocent Nigerians have ran away from their precious homes, while many are still licking their wounds inflicted on them by militants, kidnappers and herdsmen. These hoodlums have made paths country unsafe for the citizens and themselves.

The militants have blown most of the pipelines in Niger Delta. Foreign investors are running away from the country. All efforts made by President Muhammadu Buhari to lure investors to invest in the country tend to be in vain because nobody would want to die in a country other than his own.

The situation in the country is worrisome. If militants fail to bomb the place, kidnappers will be there to abduct citizens or the herdsmen who are also heavily armed will come after innocent citizens. Many innocent people have been sent to their early graves, some maimed while, the lucky ones only pay huge amount of money to the tune of millions of Naira as ransom after spending days at kidnappers’ den.

As they bomb the pipelines and gas, they are also causing environmental degradation and pollution in the areas where these facilities are located. The oil spills affect the land meant for farming, while fishermen kiss their profession goodbye because the oil spills have killed the fishes in the waters.

The havoc militants have wrecked, according to the Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, also disrupt water supply. It has already affected electricity throughout the country. It has reduced the economy to about 40%, caused inflation to go as high as 16.5% and increased unemployment to a level where people are not only jobless but are dying slowly.

We have different sorts of groups that carry out the dastardly act in the name of militancy. They include Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Niger Delta Volunteers (NDV), Niger Delta Agitators and Niger Delta Avengers. The recent attacks by these militants, kidnappers and herdsmen on innocent people, farms, oil and gas pipelines in the country are legions.


Niger Delta militants seem to have gone haywire in their resolve to blow pipelines and gas facilities. To them, it is now a daily affair to blow up pipelines. They move from one company to another and from one community to another with sophisticated gadgets which they use in destroying the facilities. In some cases they would kill and maim as well as kidnap.

Penultimate Monday, Shell pipeline was blown. Recently the militants blew Chevron facilities in Escravos, attacking the Valve platform on offshore oil facility located at Escravos, in South West local government in Warri area of Delta State.

The heartless Niger Delta militants went as far as Ikorodu area of Lagos State and Ogun State and killed over 20 people. They displaced members of Igbolomu and Ishawo communities who have been living there in peace. The residents had to flee the area abandoning their property to the mercy of the hoodlums.

The were said to have arrived the community in speed boats heavily armed with different kind of arms and ammunition. They were said to have arrived the scene at about 11:00pm and started firing at anybody on sight.

Their grouse, LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered, was that the communities decided to protect the pipelines in the in area by organising a vigilante group. Whenever they come to steal petroleum product, the vigilante group hired by the landlords in the area attacked them. A report had it that the militants promised to come for retaliation after the vigilante group had killed three of their members.

One of the residents who identified himself as Baba Bose disclosed that the militants warned that they would kill three hundred people in the communities before they would stop. “The members of the communities and others around had to flee the area. The places are like ghost towns till date. Security men including police would go to the area during the day time but once it is night, they would move away from the communities. There are not safe.  I will not advise my enemy to go there, atleast, for now”, Bose said.

The Lagos State police public relations officer, SP Dolapo Badmos has since debunked the claim that policemen were not stationed there permanently.

Badmos said the State command deployed huge number of Police Mobile Force (PMF) and anti-robbery policemen to the scene. She assured the residents that the security men deployed there are there to protect them and would remain with them. She advised them not to exercise any fear and go about their legitimate business as usual.


As at the time of filing this report, both the military and policemen were still combing Iba area and its environs in their bid to rescue the traditional ruler of Ibaland, Oba Yushau Goriola Oseni who was abducted by gunmen in his palace on Saturday.

The monarch was said to have arrived from a function when the hoodlums came to his premises, killed his guard, driver and also shot his wife, who is still hospitalized.

Lagos State commissioner of police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni has visited the scene with the command spokesperson, SP Dolapo Badmos to ascertain what happen and how it occurred. Badmos told journalists that the monarch is still alive and that the policemen are doing their best to ensure that they rescue him. She said nobody had told her anything about ransom.

Still in this month of July, the traditional ruler of Iyasan in Irele local government area of Ondo State, Laragunsi of Iyasan, Oba Abiodun Oyewumi was kidnapped from his palace. The kidnappers who were said to have come to the area in a speed boat operated for about 30 minutes, ransacking the palace for cash and other valuables before leaving the scene with the monarch. The hoodlums arrived the scene around 10.30pm.

Also recently, suspected kidnappers abducted a 35-year-old cinematographer, Joel Benson at Ibafon area of Ogun State. The abductors were said to have invaded Benson’s home and after gaining access into the bedroom, they demanded for handsets, Laptops and money, which was freely given to them but there were not satisfied.

They abducted the victim and took him away. The victim’s wife, Ego Benson disclosed that the hoodlums had called her, demanding for N50 million ransom.

Her words: “They came in through the window and took our telephones, laptops and iPads. They took some money but I don’t know how much they took.  When they came in demanding for all these things, we thought they were armed robbers.

“They demanded for money and also asked to know who the man of the house is. My husband identified himself and they took him. My husband was crying on telephone, telling me to call anyone I know to raise the money. They called in the morning and they also called at about 2.20pm and demanded for N50million ransom.”

Ogun State Commissioner of police,  Abdulmajid Ali who was on a short vacation assured that his men were on top of the situation and have since swung into action.

He said, “We are working on it. The media needs to support us to clean up our neighbourhood of cult boys and hoodlums. Our detectives have been deployed and we are working with members of his family to ensure he is released without harm.”

The State has become a hot bed for kidnappers and all manner of hoodlums that are unleashing terror on innocent citizens. Just recently, some suspected militants in a border community between Ogun and Lagos State killed over 20 people.

Fear is still gripping residents of the Ijon community, a border village between Ogun and Lagos  States respectively, following the invasion of their village by dare-devil kidnap kingpins. The eight-man kidnap gang had at the wee hours of Monday stormed the premises of Oluseun Oguyemi and abducted his wife and three children. Ogunyemi escaped and contacted the Traditional ruler of the community (Baale).

The Police allegedly gave the hoodlums a hot chase and got them near the river.  It was gathered that the hoodlums suspected to be a killer squad from a neighbouring village in Ogun State engaged the Police in a gun battle, which lasted for about 45 minutes. The hoodlums later abandoned their victims and escaped in a speedboat.


The killing of 81 people in communities in Benue State and the massacre of over 40 people in a community in Enugu State by Fulani herdsmen still still play up a memory that makes people angry and ponder what Nigeria is turning to. The question yawning for answers on the lips of Nigerians is who gave the herdsmen sophisticated  weapons? It still beats many people’s imagination where herdsmen get their guns in large quantity from.

The have raped and killed so many innocent women, men and children. They kidnapped Chief Olu Falae in Ondo State and subjected the elder statesman to untold suffering. Not satisfied, they came back again to kill his guard.

The rustlers went to Katsina and killed four people recently. They are on a killing spree, murdering without provocation. The activities of this tripartite hoodlums called militants, kidnappers and herdsmen have have made terror so rampant that nobody is safe in Nigeria.