When the people of Agatu in Benue state first experienced the dastardly acts of the Fulani herdsmen, many had thought that it was going to be their first and the last of such painful experience. They were proved wrong as more senseless and atrocious killings continued to emanate from the vicious herdsmen who are armed to their teeth intrude into their communities and many others.
Apart from serial killings by armed robbers and kidnappers, It was only during the genocidal war of 1966 and the Maitasiine brutal killings can one say the country has never witnessed the relentless and merciless killings as being witnessed these days in some parts of the north, especially in Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Yobe, Kaduna and Bauchi states. These persistent killings by armed bandits we choose to refer to as “ Fulani herdsmen” or simply as armed herdsmen whom the President has cleverly described as “ infiltrating Gaddafi arms men”, they have wrecked more havoc similar to that of Boko Haram terrorists.
The Nigerian constitution was clear when it stated that the President of the country will among other duties, ensure the safety and protection of every citizen of Nigeria. Also the same constitution amply made provision for the rights of every citizen of Nigeria to life, that is what Section 33 of the (1999 constitution) says. “Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life.” Though simply enshrined in the constitution, it looks as if the President needs to be constantly reminded of its oath into office. When he said “I do solemnly swear/affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria; that as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will discharge my duties to the best of my ability, faithfully and in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the law,” One should therefore ask, if the people killed in the middle belt are not part of the Nigerian the president swore to protect?. It is absolutely not permissible that nothing concrete has been done to stem these killings. The last public disclosure was the effort when the president admitted that despite directing the inspector General of police , Mr lbrahim Idris to relocate to Benue state with an instruction to ensure that the killings are stopped, but it turned out that Nigerians were told how Mr. ldris flouted a presidential directives and went scot free with no punishment. Unfortunately, he has continued to flout other summons even from the third arm of government, which is the Senate. In other words Mr. ldris is above not only the law, but also a law to himself. One major role of the police is to protect lives and property of the people who voted his master, the president into office. Sequel to this, a lot of manpower, logistics and other necessary items were made available to the police. With over 350,000 policemen (though disputable figure. Subject for another write-up) the Nigeria police force( the ‘force’ should be changed to ‘service’) has its personnel in almost all the 774 local government’s in the country under the Divisional police command, Area commands, state commands and zonal commands. These levels of commands are supposed to take absolute care of security needs of every strata of governance like local and state governments. The colonial masters knew the security challenges ahead of time and were able to structure the police the way it is today. Now, with such man-power at every level of government, Security observers believe that the police leadership is overwhelmed and confused to the extent of lacking in security ideas to solve the insecurity in these states. One would have expected that a son of the soil should have been posted to Benue state command to inject more patriotic zeal and passion to save his people from the evil invaders instead of posting a non indigene to Benue state. So far, the new commissioner Mr. Fatai Owoseni has exhausted his operational strategy for situation like this and therefore what is needed is a comissioner who is an indigene to salvage the situation. Many factors are hindering the prospects of success by commissioner, among which are language barrier, logistics and topography of the state. It is therefore unpardonable and inconceivable to hear that the police despite its claims to be on top of the situation and ridiculously describing the killings as mere communal fracas, is yet to curb this incessant kilings of innocent Nigerians in the middle belt. What this failure clearly means is that the police leadership has failed and should bury its head in shame. In other clime, the police leader would have resigned or step down form his office. Since the police cannot protect its citizens, what then is it looking for in the United Nation peace keeping programmes in other countries. when it cannot keep the peace in its homeland. After all the wise say, “ charity begins at home” The same police under Mr ldris wants to supervise the forth coming elections, when it is on record that his ignoble record during the 2015 presidential election when he was the commissioner in charge of Kano state. It is unfortunate that the President is still keeping such a man as the lnspector General of police, when by now he should have dispense of his service. It is on record that the Senate, governors of the affected states and even lnternational non-governmental organisations have called for the removal of Mr. ldris. Never in the history of the police has internal security been so compromised and unable to face the challenges. From all indications, this has overwhelmed the police without a solution to it. Examples abound like, Maitasine riot, armed robbery invasions, kidnappings, University cultism etc. In the past, the police had always surmounted every insecurity challenges. ldris is a lone ranger, who does not believe in extensive consultation with any of his predecessors that had succeeded where he is failing woefully today. You cannot be an island when it comes to security issues. Reason being that security is a collection of ideas, without which, there is bound to be failure.
Security tips for road users.
Wind-up your car windows and pin down your doors at night while in a traffic jam.
Avoid lonely and deserted roads with no street light.
Avoid answering or making phone calls in lonely or deserted roads at night.