Editorial: The Kaduna Bound Abductees: Where Are the Elite Forces in The Nigerian Army?


The mystery surrounding the ill-fated Kaduna bound Train passengers seized by armed bandits, march 28, this year, continues to haunt anxious Nigerians. Instead of ecstasy, pride and jubilation, they are not only gripped by fear but embarrassed by the ugly turn of events. A new twist they wish was all a dream has been added: the release of another video showing the Kaduna bound captives being ferociously beaten amidst blood curdling screams and agonizing shrieks by their deformed abductors; that’s the new low causing the current meltdown—and phobia.

The intensity and sadistic manner the hostages were manhandled is destroying the very patriotism and national physique of a nation; if anything, the video reflects more than ever the unprecedented failure of our collective leadership and most especially the Intelligence circles. Now, they are coming to terms with the possible dangerous times ahead; they have shouted themselves hoax, but clearly no one is listening; they had expected a swift condemnation and a sharp rebuke or swift reprisal following the release of the video—if only to show members of the sect that there is a government in place.

Above all, the brutal scene ought to jolt members of the security circles into life; that what is at stake is not child’s play neither thriller in Manilla; this is a deadly struggle for life! There is never a better time to shed themselves of this ruinous toga of tribalism ravaging their professional ranks. Human lives are involved here; and once terminated, is final. In block buster films or box office movies, characters like James Bond or Sylvester Stallion would have been shown executing some dangerous mission deep inside enemy territory to rescue trapped victims; and here, as Nigerians rue their fate, majority of them would have wished for a more radical and pragmatic approach by military.

They are asking themselves:  where are the “elite forces”?  The breathtaking video and the inhuman punishment meted to the poor Nigerians questions the very essence and competence of those tasked with defending this nation. A complex situation like this would have produced a commando style response.

Nigerians would have jubilated to read in the newspapers: “elite Nigerian commandos strike deep inside enemy territory, dislodge terrorists and free hostages”; they would have been pleased to hear: “Nigerian crack commandos conduct highly sensitive military operation, dismantle terrorists network” or “specialized counter terrorism unit raised—end of terrorism in sight!” Or “special operation command launches a blistering attack with Boeing AH-64 Apache turbo shaft or Blackhawk MH-60 helicopters to uproot Jihadists militant irritants!” Did the world not erupt in joy when the Israelis in 1976 travelled 2,500 miles to Entebbe to free their hostages?

Why can’t Nigerian soldiers replicate “operation Thunderbolt” in their backyard? What has happened to the soldiers who fought in ECOMOG? What has happened to the professionalism of the Nigerian Armed Forces? What has happened to counter terrorism? Is the Nigerian Army deliberately weakening itself? These are puzzles that demand rational answers. Added to this confusion is the sheer indolence and ineptitude of APC leaders which is so glaring; their run of incompetence and abandonment is so amazing. The misery inflicted on Nigerians leaves much to be desired. Equally baffling are the actions of the authorities.

Their actions are like the more you look the more difficult you end up. They took the oath of office and swore to leave a lasting legacy, yet they pursue sectional agenda like never before! So much going wrong under this administration. The introduction  of the Muslim-Muslim ticket is another dimension that is stirring unrest and on the whole seem to seal Nigerians reliance and dependence on the APC.