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Offa Massacre: I Hope These People Will Not Kill Us All By Abdullah Abdulganiy - Nairaland / General - Nairaland

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Offa Massacre: I Hope These People Will Not Kill Us All By Abdullah Abdulganiy by halarho: 7:47am On Apr 10, 2018
Cruelty, brutality and meanness have taken over the society. Is this the same Kwara State known for peace and of course a haven for all and sundry? It was reported by the Punch on the 6th of April 2018 that no fewer than six policemen and six others were killed after robbers stormed about five banks in Offa, Kwara State. The banks allegedly stormed were Guaranty Trust Bank, Zenith Bank, Union Bank, First Bank and Eco Bank.

It would be recalled that some banks have abandoned Offa in the recent past due to the incessant robbery cases the community is posed with. This explains why a woman was saying (ejo ati Offa mo ti wa) - i came from Offa - when I went to the Skye Bank situated at Post Office, along Muritala Muhammad Airport road on one particular day in Ilorin metropolis. I was highly jolted when i over-heard that and thereby threw the question to myself "Isn't there a branch of Skye Bank at Offa?". Now, I understand why Skye Bank doesn't have a branch in Offa. It was somewhat unfathomable to me at the first instance, how could a bank like 'Skye Bank' not have a single branch in a civilised community like Offa, inhabited by a copious amount of people? Glory be to God, the answer to this puzzle is no more far-fetched. This recent robbery case will adduce to the fact that the Management of Skye Bank ran for dear life.

Behold! This is not the first of its type. It should be recalled that something like this happened five years ago. Mama Gbemisola Ruqayyah Saraki noted that the recent one was the forth of its type in the history of Offa; where robbers would storm a whole community and throw its members into psychological trauma. She added that 30 innocent lives were lost to yet another dastardly armed robbery case in Offa, Kwara State. This is cruelty of the highest order! It is a preposterous act. Thirty innocent lives! Albeit, the Kwara State Police Command had debunked this claim and tagged it false via its press release. It insisted that the lives lost were 17 as against 30 peddled around. Whichever, life is life. Even, when a single life is lost, the act shall be condemned and made unacceptable. I hope these unknown murderers cum robbers are very much ready to account for and justify their nefarious act before their Lord. Do they even believe in the afterlife? Mind you, these are people who cannot always afford to lose any of their family members but have the effrontery and guts to waste innocent lives. Lives created by God, the most high! Can they create a singular insect as small and tiny as it is? I pray these people shall never know peace until they repent and tender an unreserved apologia to the entire sensibilities they have offended.

Many condolences and sympathetic messages coming from government officials, NGOs like Kwara Rebirth Ambassadors and corporate individuals have trailed the ignoble incidence. Well, it is required especially when things like this occur. However, the question remains: Is this how we continue to stare at ourselves and fold our arms while robbers cart away our property and waste the lives of our beloved ones? One should have expected a serious government - saddled with the responsibility of protecting the lives and property of its citizens - to take a giant stride in preventing occurrences like this. Prevention, they say, is better than cure. Though, incidences like this are always inevitable. Nevertheless, sanity must be brought to place. I was extremely appalled when I read the press release of the Kwara State Government that it will take bold steps in bringing the offenders to book. I was like, is the government not trying to shoot the air? Medicine after death! An afterthought of the highest order. Well, I pray the culprits are caught and made to face the wrath of the law!

Kwara State is very vulnerable. This is a state where there are minimal police checkpoints. Few or no sophisticated ammunition for the police. We either have policemen who harass the citizens and take everyone as a yahoo boy or those who follow the dignitaries up and down. This, of course is an ubiquitous problem in Nigeria. Our control system is not vibrant at all. There is no effective crime prevention scheme in this country at all. Imagine! The robbers were able to make their way after the sinister. None of them was wounded nor killed. They went scot-free!

We are in a country where security personnel cannot make bold to stand bandits let alone we bloody civilians. A country where one cannot sleep with one's two eyes closed. One comes to ask that are we safe in this country again? Gone are the days when one can leave one's door wide open at night. Gone are the days when one can leave one's goods outside and place the price by its side. What has gone wrong in this country. This is a time as opined by an Arab poet when people would be left with no choice than to smile rather than cry over the demise of their family member(s) or friend(s) and conversely cry rather than smile when any of them is delivered of a baby. If things continue to go on like this, we would be left with nothing than to seek divine intervention. This is a country where a criminal will boast of his criminal act. Indeed, sanity must be brought back!

The way out

Until we learn from the outside world, we may not know peace in this country. Our forces are not fully reinforced. So, how do they face men of the underworld employing sophisticated weapons. One arising question should be: how do these heartless individuals gain access to the sophisticated ammos they use? A defect of our Custom Officers! Worst still, these bandits gain support from the cream of the society which makes it somewhat a difficult task to overcome them. Recently, a set of terrorists was caught, only to find out that one garrulous Senator, who will always claim to be the man of the people, Dino Melaye was allegedly solely behind them. How have we gone this far?

Our Social Control System and Criminal Justice System need be invigorated and as well vibrant. The broken window theory suggests that criminals are more curious to engage in criminality when there is a palpable slight openness in the societal structure. More so, our social bond i.e attachment, commitment, belief......... as suggested by Travis Hirsch need be strengthened. In the past, before one steals or terrorises, one needs to think twice because this will bring shame and stigma to his family. Modernisation has torn us apart. A father now lives in Kaduna while the son is in "Kashanfa" and the mother in Lagos. This is where we all got it wrong! Robbers are not from the moon, they are part of us and we can always get rid of them. The battle line has just been drawn!

~ Abdullah Abdulganiy is a columnist for Signals NG and director of The Light Column.

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