Security operatives to clamp down on politicians linked to banditry, others —BMO

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The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) is convinced that security operatives would soon begin a nationwide crackdown on politicians with clearly established links to the security challenge in some parts of the country.

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said it would be similar to the recent operation that led to the mass arrest of several individuals who were fingered as financiers and collaborators of Boko Haram.

“We are aware that security operatives have placed some Nigerians, including politicians, on a watch list similar to the one that led to the arrest of hundreds of bureaus de change operators in some of the country’s major cities a few weeks ago.

“This is due to their link to mass abductions in Northern Nigeria and other emergent security threats that the country has been witnessing in recent times and which are being used by unscrupulous persons to give political colouration to the evil development.

“Just like the painstaking operation against suspected Boko Haram collaborators, this one also involves massive intelligence gathering, and Nigerians would in the fullest of time see the manifestation of a charge that President Muhamadu Buhari handed to heads of security chiefs on sponsors of banditry and other security threats.

“While we are not dismissing outright cases of criminality in many parts of the country, we are not unmindful of a survey commissioned by some politicians a few years ago which showed that security is one issue that Nigerians considered crucial to them.

“For perspective, we recall that this was at a time that Boko Haram insurgency was restricted mainly to the fringes of the Lake Chad while scattered incidents of farmers-herders clashes constituted the other major security threat in the country, but suddenly the country is now having to grapple with mass abduction of students and sundry attacks on police facilities and units by so-called unknown gunmen.

“It is against this backdrop that we welcome the attention being given to politicians in some parts of the country as part of efforts to get to the root of the security threats many Nigerians believe are targeted at watering down the legacy of the President Buhari administration,” the group added.

BMO also urged state governors to do more to stem the tide of insecurity in their domain rather than waiting for the federal government’s direct intervention.

It said, “We have noticed a trend where some governors, especially that of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, have almost totally failed to take charge of the situation in their state while some others have quietly moved to subdue any security threat within the limits of their power.

“It is instructive that a governor who claims he lacks the authority to give orders to security operatives to check attacks by militia groups is in the news for using same agents of the state to hound and arrest a journalist, Sunday Odeh of the Peoples Daily, an Abuja-based newspaper, for criticizing him over his seeming apathy to frequent clashes over land dispute by the Bonta and Ukpute communities of the state that have claimed several lives and only recently led to the killing of 12 army personnel in an ambush.

“We invite Nigerians to note that this happened at a time another opposition governor, Nyesom Wike of Rivers state was announcing a proactive state-wide curfew to prevent an impending violent attack which incidentally is being enforced by the same security agencies that other governors like Ortom claim they cannot give orders to.

“We urge more governors to show leadership by dominating their areas of jurisdiction in line with their designation as Chief Security Officers rather than resort to playing petty politics with security matters.”

The group also advised Nigerians to cooperate with the authorities by providing valuable and timely information to security operatives.