IT amuses me to hear on a daily basis about the growing rate of armed banditry, kidnapping and other crimes which constitute terrorism in the South-West, a closely knitted environment as opposed to loose and vast communities in the North. Those who bother to listen to me in several forums in the past would have deciphered my belief that no crime, however small, can be committed without conspiracy of any form.
So, when the noise about Fulani herdsmen kidnapping people here and there in the southern part of Nigeria rent the air, I quickly fingered the conspiracy of our southern residents as a major factor because no alien can operate any business in a place successfully without the collaboration of the sons of the land. The questions to ask ourselves are; where were our local night hunters who roam the forests for animals to kill from dusk to dawn when captives were kept by their abductors in the bush for days, weeks and months before their release after payment of ransom or killed eventually?
Where were the family heads of land speculators and peasant farmers that were given land to farm on at a particular radius of our closely-knitted society when kidnapping became rampant and reports were not made to family heads in a structured environment like ours? Who investigates alleged complicity of some bad eggs in the law enforcement agencies? To put an end to this notorious criminality or reduce it to its barest minimum, I enjoin the Nigerian government to legislate the establishment of state and community policing immediately as well as individuals’ right to self-defence.
Since the Land Use Decree of 1978 has not been abrogated, there should be no compulsion on any state of the federation by the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to create Ruga settlements for the Fulani herdsmen. The National Orientation Agency (NOA) should not only be decentralised and expanded to cope with enormous responsibilities bestowed on it; the agency should be financially autonomous like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as against political colouration. This will empower the organ to restore the lost glories of every segment of the country, especially moral decadence and values. Finally, I beg to move that no ethnic group/should take predominance over another in the country.
- Prince Adeolu Adeyefa,