Fight insecurity with equity, fairness
The blood of the innocent spill on daily basis by Boko Haram, Fulani Herders, Kidnappers, Ritualists, Armed Robbers and all such bloodthirsty brutes all over the country is crying for justice. Of particular interest are the herders because of the tendencies of the Northern Nigerian Leadership to defend the indefensible by seeing any move to truncate the criminality of some of the shepherds as a move against the Fulani nation in general. Whereas, the North is doing more damage to its credibility by its refusal to openly chide the criminals in its domain, the South does not fare better by assuming that the group represents the entire Fulani race.
Meanwhile, the innocent continues to suffer because of this lacuna in leadership reasoning. In the face of baffling official indifference to the carnage being unleashed, who will blame the Sunday Igbohos of this world for emerging from the rubbles of obscurity to acquire national fame? After all, all it takes in a situation like the one in question his courage and willingness to sacrifice for the people, especially when the voices of reason and justice are silent.
Those surrounding the president either in Aso Rock or Presidency are compounding the situation by coming out of their cocoon only when those they ‘support’ are at the receiving end. Cattle ranching in particular and animal husbandry, in general, are as old as the time humanity sets its eyes on the first cow and to many, the spectacle of a herd of cattle with a shepherd resting his two arms on a stick striding across his shoulders is to rural life as the rising of the sun is to daybreak. What is new is the tendency of the herdsmen in Nigeria to unleash violence on the properties and lives of their hosts.
This is sheer criminality to which a Government must respond with the full weight of the law lest the indifference leads to impunity and lawlessness. The government of the day is too inactive and indifferent to and too distant from the insecurity situation caused by this group all over Nigeria. It amounts to sheer naivety to assume that states will embrace these land grabbers, usurpers and enemies of their environment with both hands.
Unless there are equity and fairness, more Sunday Igbohos will emerge in the South West and other parts of the country. Even the court of law respects self-defence and personal protection.
Professor Rasheed Ojikutu is of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lagos.
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