Stakeholders may boycott proposed security summit
The communities that have been invaded by Fulani Herdsmen in the North Central may boycott of the proposed security summit announced by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris due to lack of confidence in government security agencies.
They also hinged their plans to boycott the summit on perceived bias in handling the situation.
The proposed National Security Summit on farmers-herdsmen clashes, kidnapping and other violent crimes initially scheduled to hold in March was shifted for reasons yet unknown but will now hold on May 8 and 9 in Abuja.
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) Jimoh Moshood said the IGP recognizes stakeholders’ concerns towards the success of the summit and hereby expresses appreciation and gratitude to the special guests of honour of the summit, the 36 state governors and guest of honour, the FCT minister and other invited ministers.
The statement also appreciates service chiefs, government functionaries, traditional rulers, religious leaders, the organized private sector (OPS), captains of industry, heads of security and safety agencies, leaders of herdsmen and farmers associations, resource persons and intellectuals, women and youth groups, opinion leaders, and other invited guests for their readiness to attend the summit.
But The Guardian gathered that some opinion leaders, especially from Southern Kaduna and Benue State are skeptical of the sincerity of government to fairly address the issues, if recent pronouncements and body language of government functionaries and agents are anything to go by.
Andrew Shelby Dogo said a security summit of this nature was held in 2015 with starling recommendations made but two years on, apart from the recruitment of 10,000 policemen, no other recommendation has been implemented.
“It was this same government that convened that summit. So how are we sure that it would not be another jamboree this time around or is it another gathering to hoodwink us while these marauders raid our communities? he queried.
Dogo said the police and army have on several occasions shown their support for a particular side, adding: “How many of the attackers have they arrested, but they often raid homes of the people, the victims and collect their local guns. Things have been twisted, so it is very difficult for us to now have confidence in that security summit, summoned by the same people who have exhibited this unfriendly attitude to our people.”
Reacting in the same vein, Zephaniah Musa a resident of Kwoi in Southern Kaduna said the elders of the community may not be part of the summit, if certain issues were not addressed. The security operatives seem to be working with a directive to render the communities defenceless.