LAGOS, NIGERIA— Popular Comedian Okey Bakassi has called out clerics and governors justifying bandits who are kidnapping and killing innocent civilians in Nigeria.
Commenting on the country’s insecurity condition, Bakassi on his Instagram page wondered who will ‘settle’ the Nigerian youths that have not opted to join criminal groups, yet struggling to survive.
According to the comedian, the government is in the business of rewarding its retired officials, insurgents, bandits who terrorize citizens while other Nigerians that need support are ignored.
“I want to call your attention to this disturbing trend in Nigeria. Service chiefs retired but recently the National Assembly confirmed them as ambassadors.” He said.
“Recently, some clerics and governors have been justifying what bandits are doing. Some are saying they should not be brought to justice, instead be settled and accommodated into the society.”
“My question is when you settle all insurgents, kidnappers even some militants, who is taking care of Nigerian youth who have refused to go into crime or violence but are in distress.
Bakassi explained that clerics and governors were not ready to support talent events that could create job opportunities for Nigerians, but were quick to uphold and justify the actions of wicked gangs who engage in criminal activities to survive.
“COVID-19 has been here for a year but no one is talking about how entertainers, Nigerian youths who have chosen not to do violence or crime would survive.” He said.
The comic continued, “If you Google how much an AK 47 cost, let’s say we all decide to purchase AK 47 and take youths into one forest and begin to kidnap innocent people, suddenly the governor who is busy can now shake your hands and defend why you should be settled by the government because you have gone through a lot.”
“Suddenly the pastors and congregation will be praying for peace, security agencies will start negotiating ransom. We must help ourselves in Nigeria.”
Bakassi’s observations come at a time when Nigeria is facing daily kidnapping situations.
Lately, a segment of governors embraced negotiations with bandits as a ‘peace initiative’, saying it was the only way to stop the current insecurity in the country.
Clerics led by an Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, had said the bandits were peaceful people and victims of circumstances who were forced into criminality, calling for a more lenient approach to the bandits ‘activities.
A section of politicians, however, has regarded the mediations with the terror groups as a failure. Headed by Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger State, they have vowed never to negotiate with bandits.
The governor declared that making agreements with bandits never yield any positive result.
“I have never subscribed to that negotiation. In any case, the bandits are mostly Fulani that have no one to control them, even their parents cannot control them. We call them bandits, but these are common criminals. They are armed robbers.” Governor Bello said then.
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