The action of Sunday Igboho, a non-state actor, over the ‘quit notice’ he issued herdsmen in Igangan, Ibarapa East local government over alleged kidnapping and banditry is an indication of the citizenry’s loss of confidence in the country’s security and indeed a wake -up call for the government at all levels to sit up.
These are not cheery times for farmers as a result of the incessant conflicts with cattle herders. The issues may appear complex but the factors are salient. The rapacious activities of herdsmen in the South-West have left tales of woes as many persons, including aged farmers are hacked to death on their farms while their wives and female children are not only raped but also butchered and some others kidnapped for ransom.
The level of insecurity today is quite unprecedented in the history of Nigeria. Many states have continued to witness enormous insecurity lately from bandits, herdsmen, gunmen, Boko Haram, others.
While we experience insecurity especially kidnappings and threats from gunmen on a daily basis, the unanswered question begging for answer is: are our law enforcement agencies really serious with safeguarding the lives of Nigerians?
The primary responsibility of any government is to ensure the security and welfare of its citizens. With the unending terror from herders and herdsmen conflict, the serenity of southwest seems to be under threat. If bandits/gunmen could dare to abduct security operatives too and operate freely, then it is crystal clear that the popular slang “Oyo lo wa, you’re on your own”, describes the situation.
At this critical phase, as citizens, do we now need to bear arms to ensure the safety of our lives, families and community? Undisputedly, the current insecurity plague and other social horrors afflicting Nigerians predate the current administration, but however, it appears the leadership is not living up to expectation to tackle the issues decisively.
The President, who is the Commander-in-Chief, must take charge. We’ve an administration that is quick to respond to critics and critical remarks, instead of arresting the situation of insecurity that is ravaging the country. Travelling along many routes in Nigeria especially traversing through the South, West, East and North has become a nightmare due to the presence of bandits, gunmen and kidnappers along many highways.
Rather than crush Sunday Igboho and other like minds, and seek to make them silent or tagging them as enemies of the state, the government who cares about security will meet those people at the level of ideas. The current security crisis is jeopardising Nigeria’s future especially its unity. The government must be more responsive, and willing to collaborate with Nigerians to tackle the menace.
Alao Abiodun, Alaojoshua200@gmail.com