By Paul Michael, Defence Editor, Abuja
The Middle Belt Forum (MBF) has said the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to defend Nigerians against incessant acts of terrorism across the country. Thereby urging Nigerians to defend themselves by every means possible.
MBF National President, Dr Pogu Bitrus, made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja, insisting that the refusal of the government to deal with perpetrators of the recurring killings in the country reveals its complicity in the gale of bloodshed shredding the Middle Belt Region, The Trumpet gathered.
He recalled and lamented the ugly incidence of killing in recent times, nothing that as the 2023 campaigns gather momentum, the intensity of these attacks will increase, adding that the sole purpose of the invaders is to annihilate communities of the Middle Belt.
The statement reads, “The attention of the Middle Belt Forum, MBF, has been drawn to the renewed vicious attacks on communities of the Middle Belt Region in Southern Kaduna, Southern Kebbi, Niger, Plateau and Benue State that have led to hundreds of lives lost and decimation of our oncethriving communities.
“On March 8, 2022, daredevil terrorists mounted an ambush for members of a vigilante group called ‘Yan-Sa-Kai’ in Zuru, Kebbi State, and eventually killed 65 of them.
Attempts by the security forces to bring the bandits to justice led to the murder of 13 soldiers and five policemen, bringing the total number of the dead to 83.
“One week after the assault on Zuru Emirate, the blood-thirsty criminals attacked a police station in Nasko town in Magala Local Government Area of Niger State on March 15, 2022, where they slaughtered no fewer than eight people, comprising the divisional police officer, three policemen and four members of the community’s vigilante group.
”One week after the murder of the DPO and seven others in Nasko, another group of butchers, dressed in military uniforms, on March 22, 2022, launched an attack on four communities: Tsonje, Agban, Katanga and Kadarko, all within Kagoro Chiefdom in Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
No fewer than 34, according to the Kaduna State Government, were murdered and 35 homes razed down.
“Less than seven days after the bedlam on the four Kagoro communities, members of a madcap gang bombed an AbujaKaduna bound train on March 28, 2022.
The blood-spilling outlaws abducted scores of passengers and murdered eight persons, among others. The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) is yet to account for the whereabouts of 165 passengers that were on the ill-fated trip.
“While the nation was mourning these avoidable murders, another deadly assault on Kadanye village in Kajuru LGA and Akilbu village in Kachia LGA left eight persons, mostly women and children, dead, while 28 were abducted on April 6, 2022.
“These killings seemed to have hit the peak on Sunday, April 10, 2022, when another group of armed brigands pounced on four villages in Kanam Local Government Area of Plateau State and killed about 80 people in cold blood. While these communities were still in deep mourning, another terror group launched yet another deadly assault on a military base located in Pole Wire Village in Birnin Gwari LGA of Kaduna State, slaying 12 soldiers and injuring 19 military personnel.
“To clearly convince the world they were in charge, the bandits, in a video clip shot in front of the captured armoured tank, announced the release of the Managing Director of Bank of Agriculture, Alhaji Alwan Ali Hassan, on compassionate grounds. Though they hinged the release of the BOA MD on the Ramadan season, the terrorists threatened to kill the kidnapped train passengers if the government did not meet their demands.