Regular readers of this publication would discover that our editorial column for a long time now dwells more on issues of insecurity in the country. We would as a matter of concern, continue in that trajectory until the security challenge in the country improves and unnecessary waste of human lives stopped – forthwith. Today, Nigeria is faced with all kinds of atrocities: Extra Judicial killings, Boko Haram, armed robbery, kidnappings, banditry, insurgency, plus other forms of vices which un- fortunately have become the order of the day in the society. In the South-East, the situation is catastrophic because of the killings of young men and women in that zone, and also the deaths of uniformed men and the destruction of public properties by the Unknown Gun Men (UGM). In the NorthWest and North-East, the situations are not different. What we have on daily basis is harvest of deaths and tales of woes as government appears to be overwhelmed and the killings continue unabated. The latest attack by Fulani herdsmen on the people of Igangan Town, in Oyo State however put Nigeria on the spotlight again.
The inability of the Federal Government to go after these marauders perceived to come from the North and resort to threaten the people from the South with fire and brim stone who are merely expressing their fundamental human rights for self determination as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution, and the African Union (AU), charter which Nigeria is a signatory to, leaves much to be desired. In the past, it is the South-East that is known for agitation for self determination but today, the people from the South-West have joined the fray. What this means is that, the government should be very circumspect in handling this situation because, the ethnic and religious colouration that have crept into the body politics in the country calls for careful approach, else, the country might be plunged into a point of no – return. Everywhere you go, Nigerians are discussing in hushed tones, wondering what would happen in the country today or tomorrow given the presence of the military in almost all the communities across the country.
Practically everyone is living in fear and many politicians that campaigned vigorously for the party in power, the All Progressives Congress (APC), have suddenly lost their voices. The ban on Twitter and the threats also by the government to deal with other social media platforms at this time also have increased the apprehension of the people and the question is; what does this government have in store for Nigerians? Democracy entails distribution of powers among the three arms: Legislature, Judiciary and the Executives. Those whose duty is to carry out orders, implement policies and laws as it stands today have a major role to play in the Nigerian society today, if indeed the fears of the people must be assuaged and order restored in the society. Now that we have a new Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Farouk Yahaya who took over from the late Gen. Attahiru Ibrahim, the new Chief of Army Staff must as a matter of urgency, along with other service Chiefs map out strategies devoid of human rights abuse to scale down the rates of crime in the society.
The intimidation and summary executions of innocent and hapless citizens who are not of the same tribe and do not share the same religious inclination should be condemned in its entirety. Those who go about killing others should be smoked out and punished according to the Law. On the other hand, the military as a matter of urgency should embark on serious reforms ‘because stories abound where unarmed people were killed just like that. Such impunity against Nigerians no matter where he/she comes from should not be tolerated by the military hierarchy now in place, at all. The newly appointed Army Chief should be professional enough and observe rules of engagement and not encourage the killing of fellow patriots whose taxes are used to fund the budget of the military. The war against terror as it stands, demands intelligence and collaboration with the locals. The success of the new military Chief in stemming the tide of insecurity in the country is our collective interest, but the CoAS, should ensure that those soldiers who go out intimidating and killing innocent people are not shielded by the military. The enemies of the state are those who go about killing innocent people, whether in uniform or not. We call on the Federal Government to give the new Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Farouk Yahaya the free hands and support he deserves to deliver on the war against terror, Boko Haram, banditry, insurgency and other forms of criminalities now tearing the country apart, just as we caution that innocent lives, no matter where in the country should not be wasted anymore under whatever guise.