Daredevil gunmen wrecking havoc across the country have resumed their onslaught against citizens after a break occasioned by the cash crunch.
Xandertech reports that the recent cash scarcity that was birthed by the redesigning of old naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, halted activities of the assailants.
The apex bank had on February 10 announced that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes would no longer be in circulation as a legal tender as it moved to implement its cashless policy.
The development triggered controversies as the new notes were not available, causing a terrible cash crunch.
However, after several litigations, the CBN on March 23, bowed to pressure and released the old naira notes to co-exist with the newly redesigned notes until December 31 2023.
Xandertech observed that during the cash crisis, the level of kidnapping and other activities of criminal elements were obviously minimised as means of remitting ransom became difficult.
However, the mild-peace enjoyed across the country during the cash crunch seems to have been terminated as bandits, herdsmen militia and other criminal elements have resumed their heinous and murderous acts.
Several persons have been killed, while others were abducted by the bloodthirsty criminals in the last few days.
The Point Of Sales, POS, operators are not spared in the unfortunate attacks. Several of them have also been robbed and even killed since the apex bank began cash recirculation.
In the last few days, the dreaded gunmen have been on rampage in many states, especially Benue, Zamfara Bayelsa, Lagos, Nasarawa, Kogi and other states with serious security threats, kidnapping and killing unsuspecting citizens.
Xandertech recalls that on Sunday, April 2, armed men suspected to be kidnappers attacked the Christian Pentecostal Church in Akenawe -Tswarev community, Logo Local Government Area of Benue State, killing one worshipper, while the resident pastor and three other persons were whisked away to an unknown destination.
Similarly, on Wednesday, bandits abducted at least 100 persons from farmlands in Zamfara and Katsina states.
Xandertech learnt that the armed gang in large numbers, raided Wanzamai, a community on Zamfara-Katsina border, from where they whisked the farmers to their hideout.
Recall also that a former deputy governor of Nasarawa State, Prof Onje Gye-wado was on Friday morning kidnapped by the daredevil gunmen.
It was gathered that Onje Gye-wado, a one-time deputy Governor of the State who served during Abdullahi Adamu administration, was abducted when the assailants invaded gwagi villagein Wamba Local Government Area of the state.
More worrisome among the recent attacks was the incident at the Enetekpa Adoka district of Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State where over 40 persons were killed by suspected herdsmen militia.
The incident, which led to the death of 46 persons, including a son of the Otukpo Local Government Chairman, Hon. Bako Eje and still counting, occurred after a series of other attacks in the area.
Lt Col. Paul Hemba (retd.), Special Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom on Security who confirmed the development to journalists on Thursday, said about forty-six corpses were recovered from the scene.
According to the eyewitnesses, who spoke to our correspondent on the matter, many people were still missing as of Saturday evening.
Xandertech gathered that the incident followed a previous attack on the same community that resulted in the death of three people whose bodies were buried a few days ago.
In continuation of the demonic activities on the state, the armed herders in the early hours of Saturday, (yesterday), invaded the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camp in Mgban, along Makurdi-Lafia federal highway and killed scores of persons. As at the last count, over 35 corpses have been recovered.
Benue has the worst record of herdsmen attacks, with almost two million Internally Displaced Persons scattered across the state.
Recall that Governor Ortom in an interview on Friday, confirmed that at least 18 out of the 23 local government areas of the state are under “siege by Fulani herdsmen”.
“I have employed technocrats but my major challenge is insecurity. 18 out of 23 local government areas of Benue State are under siege by Fulani herdsmen, so it has truncated all my efforts in developing Benue State”, he said.
Speaking with Xandertech on the recent attacks in Benue State, the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Catherine Anene said the command is making efforts to ensure that the lives of residents are secured.
She said police officers and other security operatives have been mobilised to the scene of recent attacks to prevent further incidents.
She said, “If you go there now, you will see mobile and conventional police officers, including the military and other security agencies. They are jointly working to safeguard the lives of the people.”
Asked about the measure the command is taking to forestall another attack in the state, the PPRO noted that men of the command have always been on ground.
“What happened was not because the security operatives are not working. Once in a while, these things happen. But our men have been on the ground and more have been sent to that place.
“We don’t wait for incidents like that to happen before we take action. If the security operatives were not at work, nobody would have remained in that village. Once in a while, you see this kind of thing happen not because the police are not on ground.
“A police officer was part of the people that lost their lives in that Otukpo incident. That’s to tell you that they were on ground before the attack was carried out.”
She, however, lamented that “Benue is a vast land, we cannot cover everywhere at the same time”.
Calls put across to the Force Public Relations Officer, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi were not answered and he did not respond to text messages sent to him.