Nigeria returning to a state of nature – Part 2
CONTINUED FROM LAST FRIDAY
The grandnorm of a human society as John Locks argued is to ensure equality before the law and to practice equity as the hallmark of exercising governmental authority over the citizens. Thomas Hobbes puts it in a much more profound way by asserting that in a state of nature only the strong survives. He argued that in a state of nature life is short, brutish, uninteresting and in fact survival is by the fittest and the strongest. Also other contemporary philosophers say that one distinction that marks out the State of nature is that ‘Might is always right and that injustice and inequity are elevated as statecraft.”
Sadly, what the serial violent and bloodcuddling terror attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen against farmers and Christians in the North represents and given the conspiratorial silence of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to these terrorism is that Nigeria is gradually returning to a state of nature and the nation is being turned into one huge internally displaced people’s camp. That the World refuses to intervene to save Nigerians from these state supported attacks by armed Fulani herdsmen makes it the more ludicrous and indeed questions the essence of such bodies as the United Nations. Reading through a piece posted to www.eldis.org we were told that basically Nigeria has indeed turned to a monumental internally displaced person’s camp and this supports my affirmation that the Federal Government is actively working to return Nigeria to a state of nature.
The researchers explained that in Nigeria with a history of ethno-religious conflicts, the past year(s) has (have) witnessed an alarming upsurge in the level of violence and its impact on civilians.
As at three years back some researchers found out that the armed Fulani insurgency in Plateau state left possibly more than 1,000 people dead and 258,000 temporarily displaced, many of those who fled are still too scared to return.
In the executive summary of a researched paper which this reporter read from the aforementioned website, the researchers assessed the causes and consequences of such mass displacement of people. The study looks at obstacles preventing the return of people to their homes, and weighs up the humanitarian response to the situation. The general findings of the paper include: Whilst the immediate needs of the IDPs were adequately addressed, their long-term needs have been given scant attention; Médecins Sans Frontières is the only relief agency present in the area, providing basic health services as well as trauma counseling; assistance for return and reintegration is the most pressing need of IDPs in Nigeria; help should include not only physical rehabilitation of homes, public buildings and infrastructure, but also support for peace and reconciliation initiatives, especially at the grass-roots level; the area of training for improved emergency response is therefore crucial, and should be a priority for donors; addressing the root causes of conflict-induced displacement, thus avoiding the types of humanitarian crises currently plaguing several of its neighbours, must be a key priority for the Nigerian government. Tried as much as they could, these researchers Sri left a lacuna which is their failure to call a spade by its name and desist from attempting to hoodwink unsuspecting public that the attacks been masterminded by armed Fulani herdsmen is a conflict between farmers and herders. The violence is simply and purely acts of terrorism which amounts to grave threat to national security of Nigeria.
Why for instance should the security forces not be deployed to combat these attacks and killings of innocent civilians by armed Fulani herdsmen? There is a growing suspicion that these killers are supported and sponsored by top government officials. By the way, under the current political disorder of Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, all the strategic national security offices are headed by Fulani/Hausa Moslems who are kinsmen of the President. The way to stop Nigeria from returning fully to a state of nature is for President Muhammadu Buhari to become not a Northern Moslem leader but to truly exercise his powers as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who is bound to keep to the provisions of the Constitution by obeying Federal Character principle in appointments and to stop assigning all strategic national security offices to only one section of Nigeria in a multi-ethnic and complex nation such as Nigeria.
Onwubiko is head, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA)
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