Herdsmen and the state of the nation – Part 2
The lopsided appointments of Mr. President which favoured the northern Muslims are also used as a pointer to supporting their campaign. But, my question is did the president hypnotized or compelled members of the National Assembly (which consists of people of diverse ethnic, religious and political affiliations) to do his biddings? If not, then it will be expedient to redirect our anger and criticisms to the appropriate quarters. Interestingly, it is not on record that there was any friction (based on ethnicity and religion) between the Presidency and the Legislators concerning any of the appointees. If that be the case, I am of the opinion that we should rather probe our minds and sense of judgments. No wonder, the fear of islamisation is very high because people believe that Mr. President can get away with any personal agenda without resistance. Therefore, there is campaign for followers to get their PVC as a weapon to flush out the perceived infidels from government. In as much as, it is a good thing for all qualified Nigerians (irrespective of ethnic and religious affiliations) to register and obtain their permanent voters card (PVC), we should have it at the back of our minds that the country is a secular nation and no one particular religion can win elections without the support of others. Thus, in this `Nigerian Project`, we need one another to get to the `Promised Land.
If we must crave for democratic revolution and an all inclusive government of positive changes; it should be done with objectivism devoid of parochial and sentimental considerations.
Consequent upon the aforementioned, I would wish to appeal to all and sundry to purge our minds of mutual suspicions and give the government and security agencies the benefits of the doubt. As a result, the onus now rest on the security agencies to prove to the citizenry that they are capable of carrying out their primary responsibilities of securing the lives and properties of the people and also making the environment conducive for growth and developments. They should put their acts together to unravel the mysteries surrounding these wanton killings and destruction of properties and bring perpetrators to justice to serve as deterrent to others. Anything shot of this will be very disappointing and unacceptable.
Also, the `sudden explosion` of nefarious activities in the country whenever general elections are around the corners should also be a thing of concern to all well meaning citizens and true friends of our country. The unquantified lost of lives and properties preceding the attainment of this democracy should not be allowed to be in vain. If there are political undertones and maneuverings to these happenings; the sponsors are advised to desist forthwith; otherwise, the tides will soon turn against them. The men in uniforms have shown highest levels of understanding, co-operation and respect for our democracy; we should also be able to prove to them and the world that we do not want the Zimbabwe`s experience.
Based on the aforementioned, it is very imperative for the relevant agencies to ascertain the true identities of perpetrators and the source(s) of their highly sophisticated weapons. Are they truly herdsmen or `suspected herdsmen? In as much as it is not totally out of place for herdsmen to carry arms for their protection and self defense against wild animals and rustlers; there is need to probe how such weapons got into the country (whether legally imported or illegally smuggled). Even if the weapons were legally imported and acquired; do the carriers and users have the relevant police license/permits to use them? This is bearing in mind that criminal elements in the society can also disguise as herdsmen to carry out nefarious activities and cover up their tracts. It is not also impossible that terrorist groups are responsible for the rustling and other criminal happenings across the country in continuation of their activities and as a means of their food supply. However, with this method of arms control, it will be easier to separate the wheat from the chaff through tracking and monitoring. It will also distinguish between genuine dealers and illegal smugglers of arms. Also, a Joint Task Force should be set up to tour all our borders to ascertain areas of shortcomings and loopholes with a view to making recommendations to putting them in effective order. There is no way we can win the war against terrorism and other crimes without blocking the inflow of these weapons.
I am very optimistic that `when the above recommendations are put in place; other things will fall in place and, our nation will be a place where peace, love, unity and happiness will be the order of the day.
Oise-Oghaede is a public affairs analyst.
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