It is suicidal to pretend about it: Nigeria is on fire over insecurity. Few years ago, we published an editorial warning Nigerians, especially those who live in the South, that death was approaching from the North. Now, death has arrived.
There are protests in the South, mostly by women and young men who work in the farms. They can no longer go to their farms because of the possibility of being raped, killed or kidnapped by criminals who have consistently been identified as herdsmen.
On Wednesday, February 3, in Uromi, Esan-North East Local Government Area of Edo State and in Epie/Atissa communities in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, crowds of women protesters trooped out to the roads, demanding that herdsmen vacate their lands.
It is dangerous that herdsmen’s killing, raping, and kidnapping of people in different parts of Nigeria has been politicised.
Some state governments and politicians may, for political calculation and the votes they expect to win elections, have decided to keep mute over the alarming development.
But the people who receive the swords and the bullets are crying out. They are not only crying out, they are also moving to defend themselves if the police, army and other security agencies appointed by the Constitution to protect them fail to do so.
At this juncture, it has become important that all Nigerians understand that the real intentions of those fuelling these mayhems are no longer hidden from Nigerians. We believe the sooner we came to a round table and honestly discuss the future of Nigeria, the better it will be for everyone.
For the security agencies to fail to stop criminal herdsmen from raping, killing and kidnapping people wherever they are raises a red flag of suspicion. Also disturbing is the assertion by some people that the criminal herdsmen have the constitutional rights to live wherever they choose, thus stoking and escalating the crisis.
Nigeria must not be dragged into another civil war. Injustice and oppression breed rebellion and war.
Those who rule over the affairs of Nigeria must work to enthrone justice and equity and nurture it to make for peaceful co-existence of people from different ethnic origins. One sure way of doing this is to create the enabling environment for us to talk to ourselves, and truthfully too.
With the ferocity of the herdsmen attacks spreading all over the country, even the blind can see that time is fast running out for Nigerians to come to grips with evil and danger that insecurity has become.