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Death of lawmakers: A frightful dimension to Jos crises
As if the confirmation by the Special Task force (STF) of about 68 persons recently killed in some villages in Plateau State is not enough, the reported assassination of a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and another member of the State House of Assembly within the same weekend had added another twist to the Jos crisis that has been reoccurring for about 10 years now. 120 people were reportedly killed with 63 corpses or more given a mass burial. The city is being besieged by both the Boko Haram and ethno-religious crises. But the latter is more peculiar to the area.
The security problem confronting the peace of the area cannot be solved by military-option alone. The underlying factor is the politics of indigenisation that some powers are using to distrupt the peace of Jos City and its environs.
It has been observed that both the Federal and the Plateau State governments lack the political will to bring a permanent solution to the crisis engulfing the area. The Security Agencies are just interventionist forces. They cannot be everywhere at the same time to maintain law and order. They may need to rely on intelligence reports gathered from the residents’ co-operation for their task to be successful.
For a lasting solution to be achieved, the state government, backed by the political will of the Federal Government need to implement the recommendation of high-powered judicial panels set up by past administrations to probe the crises. In this regard, they need to clean-up the Justices Tobi and Bola Ajibola Panels’ reports. Prominent Nigerians who are indigenes of the state, including our well-respected former Head of State, General (Dr.) Yakubu Gowon testified before one of these high-powered panels.
The governments may not get to the root of this matter unless they muster the needed political will to implement the white-papers that had originated from these Judicial Panels’ reports. The military option being adopted is more or less paying lip service in tackling the ethno-religious crisis there.
The assassination of the two legislators who were Plateau State indigenes is not just a bad omen to the area alone; it portends danger to the polity even at the national level.
The nation is not at war with any of her neighbouring countries, yet the rate at which we are generating the numbers of people who are internally displaced is very alarming. Many Nigerians are now refugees in their own country due to actions and inactions of our politicians. Ambassador Segun Olusola who recently passed on has rightly remarked that “refugees do not drop down from the sky; they are the products of the behaviour of the politicians”. The late sage remarked further”…it is not an impossible thing for anyone in this country to become a refugee, because if we continue to behave the way we are behaving now, then we are not far from it.” The details of this elder statesman media chat was captured by The SUNDAY SUN in its edition of July 1, 2012, pages 38 and 39. We recommend it to our politicians and policy-makers.
Life seems to be very brute, short and cheap given the preponderance of arms and ammunition circulating among undesirable elements within the society. Apart from our porous borders, the cancellation of roadblocks by the Acting Inspector-General of Police without alternative security checks seems to encourage unchecked influx of illegal arms and ammunition into the country. With this new policy, and without proper patrol of our highways by men of the Nigeria Police, some arms and ammunition being used in communal clashes and by Boko Haram-sect must have been smuggled into the country. In the overall interest of our nascent democracy, the Federal Government should mop-up and check the influx of arms and ammunition into this country. Our politicians should also take due cognisance of their behaviours so that they do not continue to plunge the country into unnecessary and avoidable conflicts just for their own selfish-interests. For an instance, recent media reports have shown that Boko Haram sect is a fall-out of the disagreement between the sect and a former governor of Borno State when the latter was seeking for political power in 2003.
While we are once again commiserating with government and people of Plateau State on this unfortunate crisis and on the death of their illustrious sons and daughters, we are still appealing to our politicians to please put their acts together and guarantee the security of life and property. This is the primary responsibility of any able leadership in any civilised and sane society. And this duty on the part of the government at any level is non-negotiable if we must continue to co-exist as a nation peacefully.
We had noted it before that the ship of this nation is drifting amidst the onslaught of socio-ethno-economic and political crises. Also, the brazen pen-robbery of our national treasuries by our politicians and trusted bureaucrats in collaboration with unscrupulous businessmen are not helping matters. Every hand, especially those of our politicians, policy-makers, bureaucrats and elder statesmen must be on the deck in order to stabilise and refocus the ship of this nation to avoid a ship-wreck.
Righteousness exalts a nation, says the Holy Scriptures, but sin is a reproach to a nation. Nigeria cannot continue to sentence her citizens to untimely deaths, through abject poverty and avoidable ethno-religious and political crises and still hope to be on the right path to true greatness leading to the place of her destiny and destination among the comity of nations. Succinctly put, we cannot continue to survive on good luck alone and expect the desired results. We also need good policies and people with good characters and the fear of God to drive these good policies if Nigeria must survive these current storms and tides.
In this regard, those who need to take a break from public office among our politicians and bureaucrats should please do so in other to allow for fresh ideas that are needed to move the nation forward. If they are truly serving the public (as public servants) and not their respective pockets, they should take the back-seats and leave the driver seat for a moment. Without the desired change of approach to issues of good governance in this nation, we may continue to wallow in our reproaches.
No sacrifice is too much on the part of our leaders, if they want this nation to move forward and fulfill her destiny soonest. They should not continue to sacrifice the peaceful co-existence and welfare of this nation on the altars of their own mundane and selfish interests.