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Plateau Massacre: Despite Tinubu’s campaign promises, killings continue

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About seven months into the administration of President Bola Tinubu, the gruesome murder of over a hundred people in Plateau State put into question the president’s promises on security.

The assailants attacked about 20 communities in Plateau, and in the end, they left bodies and blood in their trail.

The Plateau killing happened within months after the Tundun Biri incident, where the Nigerian Army bombed civilians with over 126 fatalities recorded.

Pmnews.ng reviews the promises President Tinubu made during his campaign and as contained in his manifesto, the Renewed Hope Agenda.

One of the first actions taken by President Tinubu was the demilitarization of the entities supervising the military sector.

He appointed two civilians: Abubakar Badaru and Bello Matawalle as Ministers of Defence, and appointed Nuhu Ribadu as National Security Adviser, an agency charged with coordination and intelligence gathering.

Despite this, killings have not stopped. According to data by the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker (NST), non-state actors killed 587 people within the first 45 days of Tinubu.

Also, following the massacre in Plateau, a tweet from 2014 by Tinubu resurfaced on social media, where he was criticizing the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration over security issues.

“My heart bleeds for our people and the country over the deaths in Yanyan. A government unable to protect its citizens deserves to be queried,” this was posted by Mr Tinubu in 2014 following the bombing in Nyanyan. bu’s promises on security

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Mr Tinubu flagged off his campaign in Jos, the Plateau State capital, and in his speech, he declared: “Most importantly, I will give utmost priority to extinguishing terrorists and violent criminals.”

He added: “These evil forces seek to destroy our democratic way of life. I have news for them. We will defeat their destructive way of life. They shall be utterly defeated and vanquished from our soil.”

During a campaign stop in Adamawa State, Mr Tinubu said, “There will be an end to killing and kidnapping.” The crowd cheered as he uttered the words.

In the Renewed Hope manifesto, he went further to make some specific promises on ending insecurity. A review of the manifesto shows that President Tinubu has yet to fulfil many of these promises

Community Policing

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In the manifesto, he promised to establish state police based on the peculiarity of different states.

The then-candidate promised to work with states and the National Assembly on establishing state police.

“Our government will work in close collaboration with State Governments and the National Assembly, to enact measures necessary to secure and protect communities from criminal violence, particularly kidnapping and terrorism.

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“These measures will be flexible and adaptive in order to fit local realities and challenges. Some instances may call for the establishment or enhancement of civilian neighbourhood watch groups. Others may require the establishment of more formal locally-based law enforcement institutions,” he said.

Pmnews.ng learnt that Tinubu is yet to forward any executive bill to the National Assembly on State or Community Police as promised.

Use of intelligence in warfare

In the manifesto, President Tinubu also promised that his administration would deploy intelligence in warfare and use proactive measures to prevent crime.

“We shall adopt a proactive and intelligence-driven security approach to sufficiently address the nation’s security threats,” he said.

In the aftermath of the bombing in Tudun Biri, commentators have blamed the incident on a lack of proper intelligence gathering.

A member of the House of Representatives, Umar Ajilo, in a motion he moved on the floor of the House, said the government has failed to use intelligence in its security operations.

“This particular incident and many similar incidents in the past which have been widely tagged as ‘operational mistakes’ by the military has exposed the level of intelligence failure in the Military operations,” Ajilo said in his motion on the floor of the House.

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Creation of an anti-terror battalion

The President also promised to establish “Anti-terror battalions” with the mandate of ending terrorists, kidnappers and bandits.

He stated that the battalions will have special forces units.

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“Anti-Terrorist Battalions: highly trained and disciplined anti-terrorist battalions(ABATTS) with special forces units will be created. Their objective shall be to seize the strategic and tactical initiative, giving terrorists, kidnappers and bandits no respite,” the manifesto reads in part.

Removing police from VIP duties

One other promise on security is the removal of police from VIP work so that they can focus on security.

President Tinubu promised to transfer such duties to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC). However, seven months later, Nigerians still see police around VIPs.

“Police personnel will be freed from extraneous duties such as VIP security and guard duties. VIP Security and provision of security for government buildings, installations and other critical assets will be transferred to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC),” he pledged.

A careful review of the activities of the current administration shows that most of those promises have not been kept.

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