My heart pours out to the people of the middle belt region.
How long can we continue to wait before we see government intervention? As the death toll increases in the middle belt, my ears hurt from recurring resolutions of our political caucus and my eyes are tired of the preventable death of children, parents and young youths as I fail to understand the root cause of the decimation of my people by the alleged herdsmen.
Insecurity in the country has grown despite the rising funds that have been allocated to cater for our safety. The House of Assembly is aware that Benue State government has raised several alarms to the army, the police and other intelligence agencies about the locations where the killings occur. The Army and the Police have failed to employ proactive strategies and continuous surveillance of identified flash points to protect these locations. They react only when scores of innocent citizens have lost their lives and property.
This issue has gone past sentiment, outsiders now laugh at the citizens of the Middle Belt as if we are intruders in this country. If the strength of the herdsmen has surpassed the capacity of our security forces, then we require a review of our solution strategy.
The killings started at Agatu, one of the 23 local governments in Benue state and today, the land has seen the loss of over 5,500 lives since the crisis with the Fulani herdsmen started in 2013. The government keeps passing resolutions, we are tired of resolutions. Bloodshed today, bloodshed tomorrow, when will this end? Will we wait till they fulfil their dream of taking our land?
If the killings of the Middle Belt continue, there will be no point in adhering to the constitution as the purpose of a government is premised on the security and the safety of its citizens. The constitution derives all its power from the people that are being killed; this constitution also declares that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of the government in subsection two “FUNDAMENTAL OBJECTIVES AND DIRECTIVES OF STATE POLICY.”
Now where is the government that aims to uphold these respective obligations? Who will take up the responsibility when the government has failed to defend our lives and properties? Where are the security operatives who pledged their lives to the safety of the country? If the Federal government is not ready take up their responsibilities it seems a state of anarchy is in view.
The youths should stop sitting idly and take action to defend their people as the government will continue to perform below our expectations. I do not see effective intervention from a higher body which we continue to depend on. The lands of our fathers should not be colonized by intruders in a supposedly democratic state.
Michael Luther Nicholas is an Educator/Writer in Nigeria