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Refusal to Rescue Kidnap Victims: Who’s Accountable?

OPINION: The Deafening Silence that Speaks Volumes

By Douglas Burton

Approximately 287 elementary-  and high-school children are being traumatized by some of the most psychopathic criminals in the world in the terrorist-owned Kamuku Forest three hours’ drive West of the metropolis of Kaduna. After weeks of captivity, the young people will return to their parents sick with dysentery and malaria, as seen in amateur videos of abductees who were held  from 2021 to 2023. [See TIMELINE:  Historic School Kidnappings by Terrorists in Nigeria ]

The gangs are known to chain their victims under the shelter of trees where they suffer insect bites and the sweltering summer sun that has high’s close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The adolescent girls face rape; all the students likely are beaten daily with whips. We know this based on the historic behavior of other kidnap for ransom gangs that documented such torture with videos they put out on the web. The students were taken early in the morning as they were being lined up to say the morning pledge of allegiance to the Nigerian flag. 

Two days after the school kidnapping in Kuriga, in Kaduna,  a terrorist gang struck the village of Gidan Bakuso in the northern State of Sokoto snatching up 15 students at a school in Gada County (LGA).

But just 13 days ago on Feb. 28, a unit of terrorists went from house to house in a large suburb of Kaduna, collecting 17 men, women and babies and killing two civilian guards died defending their neighborhood during a nightime blackout. As TruthNigeria reported, the 17 hostages were forced to walk through the forest for 30 miles to an Islamist terrorist stronghold in neighboring Niger State. Dozens of Nigerian soldiers in the town to battle the 50 invaders did not give pursuit, according to locals who spoke to TruthNigeria.

Yet in Nigeria’s Lake Chad region, more bad news: in the Northeastern State of Borno, more than 200 women and girls were abducted by elements of the Boko Haram Insurgency on March 6 as they were gathering firewood, according to a UN report.

Terrorists Running Amok in Kaduna

Nigerian media is currently agog about whether Kaduna’s Gov. Uba Sani has hired a private investigator to negotiate a return of the children snatched in Kuriga Village of Chikun County on March 7. The Governor flatly denies it, and it is against state law to pay ransoms. However, security experts have said that when abductees return to their families, there is always a ransom.

What no Nigerian lawmaker or elected official has asked for after since four mass kidnappings have been reported in 13 days is “Where is there  accountability of the Nigerian army and air force, supplied with fighter aircraft by the United States?”

 

“Kuriga village is 40 minutes to 1hr drive to the Kaduna Air Force Base and the First  Division HQ of the Nigerian Army,” says Abuja-based architect Polycarp Gbaja to Truth Nigeria.

“There is more than enough air and ground power to have been scrambled to go after these already well known terrorists,” Gbaja went on to say.  “Same terrorists who have attacked military and civilians, with total impunity, in the past three years and more, yet Kaduna has over 15 security agencies, combat and Intelligence  units domiciled strategically. How were they caught so flatfooted?” Gbaja asks.

It’s a fact that no Nigerian Air Force helicopters were seen following the Islamist Fulani terrorist gang with their 287 hostages into the forest in broad daylight. No armed drones, no fighter aircraft, no armored column heading from the military base.   Why?

Reaction from Thought Leaders

“The lack of a response by the Nigerian Military to the spike in kidnappings over the last 30+ days is both concerning and problematic,” according to Marine veteran and terrorism specialist Scott Morgan.  “The response times to events shows that the current chain of command has problems. Whether it’s the time frame in the issuance of orders to provide a timely response or other concerns regarding the number of terrorist/bandits,  it is becoming difficult to show how efficient the current Nigerian Military leadership currently is at this task. These problems are being exploited by the bandits to their advantage and why this isn’t being discussed more is a concern,” Morgan texted to TruthNigeria.

Chief Femi Fani Kayode, a thought leader in the ruling All Peoples Congress Party, is among the first to cite the root cause of the rash of mass abductions.

“There are two reasons for the mass abductions and kidnappings that we are witnessing in our country today.

Firstly to garner cash which is then sent abroad to buy more arms and fund terror and secondly to destabilise our country and to discredit and undermine the credibility of our President and the Federal Government,” Kayode wrote in a widely syndicated column on Friday.

Kayode hints of a dark conspiracy of nations seeking to undermine Nigerian sovereignty:

“Those that think it is only about the acquisition of money are naive and ignorant.  There is far more to it than that and there are numerous shady and sinister characters, international criminal cartels, foreign Governments and intelligence agencies and local accomplices and facilitators that are involved in this great evil.

“Nigeria has been targeted for destruction, division and disintegration by those that see us as a threat to their regional hegemony, strategic national interests and imperialist aspirations but most of us still don’t get it and perhaps never will,” Kayode argues.

The victims of the kidnappings in Sokoto and in Birnin Gwari are virtually all Muslims; the victims in Gonin Gora are all Christians.  There is no obvious political motivation, which doesn’t’ rule out the possibility that the Nigerian government is slowing being swept by the current of lawlessness toward a waterfall. Nigerian government is in the death grip of armed gangs abducting masses of its citizens and marching them into jungle redoubts with impunity.

This has happened for 10 years, beginning with the infamous kidnapping of the Chibok high school girls in 2004, and with varied results: some girls escaped, some were rescued, some died in captivity, and sadly, about 100 of the girls were sex-trafficked to terrorist soldiers.

For the moment, the commonsensical solution is clear, according to Garba.

“Mr President and Executive Governor of  Kaduna State, the demand of your constitutional task here is simple, even if not easy.

First: Rescue immediately these defenseless citizens, under your care & duty, as your primary mandate.

Second:  Neutralize the dastardly crew of terrorists, including their camps in Shiroro, Birnin Gwari & other sites in the Kaduna & Niger States axis.

Nigerians expect no less, Sirs.”

Douglas Burton is an award winning conflict analyst and managing editor of TruthNigeria. He reports from the Washington, D.C. area.

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