EDITORIAL: President Buhari must rise above ethnic nepotism to the Nigeria security challenges

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The Friday gruesome killing of Olufunke Olakunrin in Ondo state, southwest Nigeria is one killing too many. Her murder reiterated and exposed the degeneration and degradation of our national security apparatus.

Lives are sacred and none should be waved as insignificant when it is cut short abruptly. However when the lives of prominent Nigerians began to fade away in reoccurring violence, the nation is not only in danger, the leadership is culpable.

Olufunke killing reechoed the bawl of insecurity that is violently sweeping across the country, taking in its wake, hapless and innocent citizens whose only crime is to be law abiding and peaceful. Banditry in Zamfara has now spread to Katsina and other states.

Funke Olakunrin’s death amongst others that has consistently perpetrated in the southwest elicited a strong warning from the Aare Onakakanfo of Yorubaland and the leader of the Oodua People’s Congress, Gani Adams.

Last week, protesting members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria also known as Shiite violently stormed the National Assembly killed a police officer, wounded others, destroyed properties including vehicles parked in the premises of the nation’s parliament. The once peaceful protesters alleged that they resorted to violence after the police drew the first blood.

In the North, the flawed effort of the Presidency to impose Fulani settlement in all part of the country in what it regarded as the panacea to curb the incessant bloody clash between herder and farmers across the country  and the refusal of southern state governors to key to the effort elicited unwarranted threat by Coalition of Northern Group whose spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Sulaimon said in strong worded statement televised on national electronic media that the government must rescind the decision to suspend the RUGA programme.

Sulaiman went ahead again to issue another threat in a separate interview with Tribune Newspaper, pointing provocative finger towards some southern socio-cultural groups, “I think the two bodies are selfish and wicked. We didn’t start this threat; they started it. First, it was Chief Gani Adams who we read saying he would lead one million Yoruba [warriors] to fish out herdsmen in the South-West. “Ohanaeze also called on their people for self-defence. Did we issue any threat? We were just making our stand known on the issue of Ruga. Let them read our letter and see where we mentioned anything like that.  Another person in the Niger Delta said the Fulani herdsmen would not be allowed in their area.

“Truly, to our chagrin, we have begun to see some of these threats being practicalised. Now, we have a video footage of some Igbos chasing herdsmen out of their states. We want to tell them that we are not afraid of them. We are not afraid of anybody. This union, Nigeria, as long as no one will be allowed to go and fend for himself in any part of the region, there will be no peace. We are not afraid of any review of the present union, because what we have now is a collection of southerners and northerners, not Nigerians.”

Considering the spate of insecurity across the country, Nigerians are beginning to draw conclusion that President Muhammadu Buhari is presiding over a country at the precipice of collapse, only if urgent and sincere measures are adopted will the country be safe from the impending free fall.

Despite these various violent posture and system drum of war, the body language of the government has shown more of passivity than the required action and accelerated emergency to curtail the situation has shown that a particular tribe is untouchable and can get away with crime.

The Buhari’s administration has the fundamental responsibility to protect the lives and properties of its citizens across the length and breadth of the country. President Muhammadu Buhari must rise to this occasion and defend all Nigerians and not a particular part of the country.

The country is at a cross road of ethnic interest above national and collective interest which is tilting vigorously towards bloodletting. We urge the federal government and those at the corridor of power to take full responsibility and reassure Nigerians that they are safe in their community and any part of the country.

Traditional leaders have a critical role to play in ensuring that this palpable tension is doused and lasting peace, unity and mutual trust is restored in our national consciousness for progress and even development of very part of this great nation.

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