By Akinwale Kasali
The Civil Society Coalition for Mandate Protection, (CSC-MAP) through the Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Taiwo Adeleye, has frowned and berated the killings and abrupt termination of human lives going on in Nigeria. This, the group claims has been going on for many years. The group says it is worried that in the past few months, the killings have been accentuated in many parts of the country.
Adeleye highlighted series of bloodshed that has been the lot of the North these past months. In Kaduna, Plateau, Adamawa, Taraba, Nassarawa and Benue have witnessed unprecedented blood-letting which is unprecedented. In Benue state, 73 people were buried in one day. In Manila, 100 people were killed. They were killed by alleged Fulani herdsmen. Seven people were also killed in Gboko, allegedly by Tiv militia. Since this crisis began, the poor, the rich, the armed and defenseless have been victims. Children and women have been massacred in the most savage manners. The aged are victims so are the physically challenged. People in high places are also victims. A Senator in Plateau, Senator Gyang Dan Tang was murdered in related ethnic clashes. A member of the Plateau House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani was also killed. The two lawmakers were murdered in 2010 as they were about to go and bury 53 women and children killed In Plateau.
In Taraba State, a member of the House of Assembly, Hosea Ibi was also killed. The FULANI have also been victims. In Ekiti state, at a small community, Oke Ako, a total of three people were killed. This shows that the Middle Belt states are not the only states where horrendous killings are taking place. In Enugu, no fewer than 30 people including women and children were killed in Nimbo in 2016. In Oyo State, no fewer than 5 people have been killed in related Farmers-Fulani clashes. We observed that the President Mohammadu Buhari inherited most of these problems. But during his tenure, the KILLINGS have more than doubled. However, our expectation was that he would have lived up public expectations by nipping the problem in the bud.
In a statement made by the group, it stated that the country is now punctuated by series of cold blooded killings. These killings are perpetrated by civilians against themselves. In all these is the spiral impact of arms race whereby every community seems to struggle to acquire arms in the race for supremacy. There are 350 million illicit weapons in Nigeria. These weapons are in the hands of non-state actors. There have also been revenge killings and these continue unabated.
Adeleye however faults government’s complacency is addressing the issue. The group alleged that Federal Government has demonstrated a clear case of cold complicity as indicated in the various statements credited to the most important officials occupying some of the most strategic security institutions.
The groupalso notice a consistent pattern of top security officials taking positions that portray them as supporting a party in the raging conflict.
Adeleye stressed that In the midst of this crisis, here is the statement made by the Defence Minister, Dan Alli Mansour: “If you go to Bayelsa or Ogun, you will see them (grazing routes). If those routes are blocked, what do you expect will happen?” Displaying his parochial interest, he added “Some people were caught with arms and they call themselves Forest Guards or whatever, with AK-47. There is nowhere in the country where arms are allowed to be carried apart from legitimate security forces.”
“The Federal Government arrested TIV vigilante but the armed FULANI HERDSMEN are walking free of charge. There is no doubt that the reason why these KILLINGS continue is the partisan posture of top security officials who are from a particular section of the country. Let us take a look at the list of important security positions and who occupy such please”.
The group also fault the appointment of Ahmed Abubakar as the Director General of Nigerian Intelligence Agency, (NIA), after the removal of Ayodele Oke by the presidency. This the group says is a clear case of assault on Federal Character. There is no justification for this appointment. There is no basis for it. There are people of Yoruba extraction that should have been appointed into that position. There is no single Igbo man in the entire security apparatus of Nigeria. Is this an attempt to punish the Igbo Nation? There would have been no cause for alarm except the clear cases of subversion of the principles of fairness and the lack of capacity especially in the demonstrated case of the DG MIA. In the first case, Mr. Abubakar is not qualified for the position. He is married to a Moroccan which raises fundamental issues about loyalty to Nigeria as a country.
He has been accused of failing his professional examinations. This same person has been challenged by his co-workers. Former Directors of NIA according to the usually reliable Sahara Reporters, one of the conscience of the Nation, in a letter to the House of Representatives Committee on Security and National Intelligence, called for an urgent intervention to stop the change in the agency’s leadership from having severe consequences on the country’s security apparatus. They are demanding the removal of the newly appointed Director-General of the agency, Mr. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.
The group is demanding for the Immediate reorganization of the topmost security apparatus to reflect Federal Character, Immediate removal of the DG NIA, Launch of a National disarmament of all armed groups and Arrest and prosecution of all those responsible for the KILLINGS across the country.