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May 21, 2018

Too many killings with Impunity

Day of anger anguish in Benue
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No words, than sorrow, tears and anguish can best describe the tragic experience of victims of mass killings that took place on New Year Day, 2018 in some parts of our country.
At Guma and Logo Local Government areas of Benue State, over 70 people were killed in cold blood by marauding herdsmen, while 14 others were also shot dead at Omoku LGA in Rivers State the same day.
A monarch and his pregnant wife were sent to their untimely graves on the same New Year Day in Kaduna State, while hoodlums attacked churches and raped worshippers in Ilorin, capital of Kwara State, same day.
These are all frightening experiences of innocent people, who were pursuing their legitimate businesses, before they were cornered and slaughtered en-masse like chickens, while security agencies and those charged with the protection of lives and property, seemed to do little or nothing to checkmate such atrocities.
One recalls with deep sadness, the mass killings in a church at Ozubulu Anambra State last year, during which gunmen gained access and shot sporadically at worshippers resulting in several deaths. Before that incidence, there had been a mass killing at Uzouwani in Enugu State, during which many were murdered in cold blood same night.
It is sad, so sad that mass killings have become the order of the day in our Nigeria. At a time when we thought such heinous acts were subsiding. Sadly there seem to be little regard for human life. It is unfortunate that while blood thirsty hoodlums go about snuffing life out of Nigerians, our political leaders are busy trading blames rather than trying to get to the root of the reign of hate that triggers off such senseless killings.
In Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike and Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transport accuse each other of complicity in the Omoku killings, while in Benue and Nassarawa States governors, Samuel Ortom and Tanko Al-Makura respectively, fight dirty over who takes blames for the mass killings in Benue State. Ortom alleges that the killers came from Nasarawa, while Al-Makura insistes that the anti-grazing law enacted by Benue State government some few months ago angered the Fulani herdsmen.
The question is not the state the murderers infiltrated from, but why they did what they did to fellow Nigerians? Why have our people lost the sense of value for human life? Many have argued that President Muhammadu Buhari is to blame for the insecurity in the country. Many believe that his complacency and inaction in dealing with the issues about the havoc caused by Fulani herdsmen is not helping matters. This is because government has a responsibility to protect lives and property; it has what it takes to do so. But our government seem to be sleeping while the country is bleeding. If we had a government that is alive to its responsibility, and without hidden agenda, security should top all other priorities.
We would like to remind Mr. President that the protection of lives and property of citizens is more important than his over orchestrated war against corruption. Security is the most sacred responsibility of the state. In fact, there is no greater corruption than the government looking the other way while the strong bullies and kills the weak with impunity.
Buhari’s failure to pre-empt the Benue genocide as it was coming and to promptly arrest those that brutally butchered defenseless innocent Benue women and children, (suspected, to be the Fulani Miyetti Allah herdsmen), clearly shows the loss of value for human life by his government. Until government takes relevant steps to assure Nigerians that each one matters and that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law, then our land will continue to witness more mass killings of harmless citizens in the future.



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