Tuesday, June 22, 2021

We receive weapons from SSS agents, split ransom payments: Bandits

The bandits also said some police officers have been a part of the conspiracy that has fueled insecurity across Nigeria.

• May 10, 2021
A composite of SSS Officers and Bandits used to illustrate the story
A composite of SSS Officers and Bandits used to illustrate the story

Armed bandits terrorising different parts of Nigeria have disclosed that they have been receiving arms and ammunition from operatives of the State Security Service and often split ransom payments received at gunpoint.

The criminals told Deutsche Welle in a recent report that they “borrow weapons” from the state agents and then go to work to share ill-gotten gains together.

The bandits also said some police officers have been a part of the conspiracy that has fueled insecurity across Nigeria which President Muhammadu Buhari has been accused of being too lazy to address. 

A spokesman for the SSS did not return a request seeking comments from Peoples Gazette about whether or not the secret police was aware of a possible alliance between its officers and armed bandits wreaking havoc across the country.

The report surfaced amidst widespread claims that Nigerian security forces are fueling insecurity for financial benefits. In 2018, Theophilus Danjuma, a former chief of army staff, said the Nigerian military and other state agents were actively supplying weapons to violent criminals waging a war against minority rural settlers in Nigeria’s north-central.

The Buhari administration denied the allegation, but several indications have emerged repeatedly since then that appeared to show that the government was not as concerned about the raging crisis.

Last week, Mr Buhari warned Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue, where armed militia elements have killed thousands and razed hundreds of villages since Mr Buhari assumed power in 2015, to either accept the controversial ruga policy or continue to endure violence with his people.

Last month, Mr Buhari also stood by Isa Pantami, one of his cabinet ministers who was recently exposed as a hardline jihadist and lover of Osama Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and other groups and persons long associated with terrorism. 

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