By Abba Dukawa
Since the returned to democracy dispensation in the country in 1999, the Federal Government has done very little or nothing to curb the state of rapid increase in the number local security outfits.
The federal government watched without foreseeing it as a timed bomb waiting to explode.
We have witnessed the proliferations of such security outfits like the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), Indigenous People of Biafra and now the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), code-named “Operation Amotekun” all base on sectional organization especially in the southern part of the country.
Due to reasons best known to it, the Federal Government has done nothing to stop this potential danger without the considering the senseless killings and arsons perpetrated by the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in 2002, when clashes engulfed between OPC and other ethnic nationalities especially the Hausas living in the South West.
One may recall that at the inception of the Ametekum security outfit, the Chairman of the South West Governors Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, said there is no going back on the operation of the regional security agency, Amotekun, which they are prepared to pursue to its logical conclusion and emphasised that the governors of the region were committed to improve security and are particularly keen to address the rising wave of banditry, kidnapping and farmers and herders’ clashes.
Really, Governor Akeredolu matched his words with action by asking all Fulani herdsmen in the State to vacate forest reserves within the state in seven days as the governor issued the ultimatum while meeting with the leaders of Hausa/Fulani and Ebira Communities in the state. Indeed, the eviction notice to Fulani communities offered a different dimension to the security challenges.
One of the misfortunes that afflicts this country is that our rulers show lack of concern to diversity, every other thing fails and it seem our rulers always mismanage the delicate ethnic and religious balances on which Nigeria pivots. Let the nation leaders provide leadership by taking measures that will reassure all and sundry that they are working on the problems and that nobody should lose interest in a united, peaceful, and progressive Nigeria.
While in any civilise society leadership must be responsive to diversity, it is the rudimentary ingredient to fostering unity among variegated people.
How we got to this stage is squarely failure of the federal government to take proactive measures to address security issues in the country, which has given rise to non-state actors like the local village hunter, Sunday Igboho, to issued evictions notice to other Nigerians.
The question left unanswered is, is the Palace of Seriki Fulani, Alhaji Saliu Abadulkadir and other houses in the town including expensive cars that were razed by angry youths justifiable and does he and other victims also live in the forests.?
Insecurity by itself is bad enough. When those in authority allow it to be layered with ethnic tensions, it is doubly dangerous. Rwanda is the clear experience.
Section 43 of the Constitution, which grants people the right to own properties anywhere in Nigeria, cannot be construed as taking other people’s properties.
Almost every state in the North is facing serious security challenges and Governor Sule of Nasarawa said Boko Haram is regrouping in his state, this is a clear indication that the collapse of security system is all over the country and in all this, there are no actionable responses by the federal government.
There are many scenarios running through people’s head, but this particular one scares peoples a lot. As the notice expired, Amotekun launched offensives to evict their target, the Funalis.
A stage is being set for a major confrontation between the Federal Government, herdsmen and the South West States.
Let Rotimi and Akeredolu, regional security agency, Amotekun, read the constitution properly. What they are doing is a forceful eviction of Fulani herdsmen and is unconstitutional.
The deafening support by key stakeholders in the South West States is worrisome. Supporting Amotekun is a dangerous tell-tale sign that things are wrong. This is not good for our country.
We must all speak out and talk about the solution to this twin-problem of insecurity and threat to national unity. Nigerians need to live in peace with each other as we do not have another country to call our own other than Nigeria.
Lack of actions against insecurity is most unsuccessful point of our leaders.
The situation is getting worse by the day. Insecurity has become the order of the day and it is fuelling disunity and criminal activities. It obviously requires urgent attention because time is ticking away.
We must act fast to ensure security in the country.
Dukawa write in from Kano and can be reached via email@example.com