*Killer herdsmen must be proscribed, declared as terrorists
By Clifford Ndujihe
NATIONAL Chairman of the United Progressive Party, UPP, Chief Chekwas Okorie, has urged the Federal Government to take decisive measures to end the orgy of killings across the country to avert dismemberment of the nation.
Worried that the killings have assumed a dangerous tide and no place is safe or sacred any more, Chief Okorie, in a statement titled: ”Nigeria At Crossroads: We Foresee Grave Danger,” added that ”the religious dimension these killings have assumed overtime which have reached a proportion of virtually uncontrollable provocation is frightening.”
To save the country, he suggested: ”The security architecture of Nigeria must be immediately reviewed to make it more representative, effective and trusted. The time for State Police and Community Policing has come. Allowing for referendum for those wishing to exit from Nigeria peacefully to test the popularity of their desires among the people they purport to represent is highly advised. A sense of freedom is nearly as good as freedom itself. But a sense of slavery is outright slavery in all considerations. Today’s leaders must bear this in mind. Our leaders must also note that religion is an opium, its sentiments flow from the heart and not from the head.
The statement read in part: ”We are compelled by patriotism and concern for the innocent and longsuffering citizens of Nigeria to draw the attention of the Government of Federal Republic of Nigeria and the general public to the looming danger and unprecedented cataclysm that is imminent in Nigeria.
”The strident call by all well-meaning Nigerians on the Commander-in-Chief of the Nigeria Armed Forces and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari to rise to the responsibility of his office to secure the lives and property of Nigerian citizens has not elicited the satisfactory response that would have stemmed the dangerous tide from getting out of hand. Some sections of Nigeria have become killing fields of defenceless Nigerians by marauding herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents.
”The religious dimension these killings have assumed overtime which have reached a proportion of virtually uncontrollable provocation is frightening. Many bold and outspoken leaders have recently raised alarm over these wanton killings and provocations. No place is safe and sacred any more. Innocent worshippers and clergymen are mowed down at their places of worship. The National Assembly is very easily invaded and desecrated by thugs who escape without even firing a shot and unrestrained by the various security agencies that are deployed to guard the National Assembly premises, in addition to the numerous armed security details allocated to each of the Legislators.
”The recent cold blood massacre of two Catholic Priests and their worshippers in Benue State appear to be the last straw that is likely to break the Carmel’s back. If the government of the day continues in its lackadaisical approach of wallowing in mere rhetorics, then anarchy shall take over the landscape.
”The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has called on all Christians nationwide to carry out a peaceful protest this coming Sunday, 29th April, 2018, over the obvious threat to Christian Religion in Nigeria. The reason for this call is unassailable but its likely outcome is unpredictable but definitely frost with a possible insurrection of the kind that may never have been witnessed anywhere in Africa before. Our worry is the human disaster that may be the fallout of such anarchy and clear threat to Nigeria’s corporate existence.
”We remember vividly the carnage that occurred in Kaduna State under the presidency of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in the year 2000. In that year Christians in Kaduna State were called out for a peaceful protest over the intention of the Kaduna State Government to adopt Sharia. This peaceful protest was violently confronted by certain extremist Moslems. The reprisal attack that followed, resulted in a carnage of unprecedented magnitude.
”With the benefit of hindsight therefore, a nationwide peaceful protest which usually is a legitimate means of expressing dissent in civilized nations may be attacked by some fundamentalists which may in turn trigger off a nationwide reprisal attack. In the event of such unfortunate outcome, the corporate existence of Nigeria will be imperiled. We say this because all the security agencies without exception will be polarized along religious lines. We also fear that in such circumstance the millions of illegal weapons in private possession shall be freely used. We doubt therefore whether Nigeria as we know it will continue to exist after such eventuality.
”This is no time for muscle flexing or boring rhetorics. This ominous time calls for high-wired diplomacy, pacification and proactive action by government. The cooperation, collaboration and understanding of all well-meaning Nigerians and opinion leaders must be aggressively mobilized and deployed for their intervention at their various levels of influence without delay. The organization called Miyetti Allah and the Fulani herdsmen must be proscribed and classified as terrorist organizations without delay.
”The security architecture of Nigeria must be immediately reviewed to make it more representative, effective and trusted.
The time for State Police and Community Policing has come. Allowing for referendum for those wishing to exit from Nigeria peacefully to test the popularity of their desires among the people they purport to represent is highly advised. A sense of freedom is nearly as good as freedom itself. But a sense of slavery is outright slavery in all considerations. Today’s leaders must bear this in mind. Our leaders must also note that religion is an opium, its sentiments flows from the heart and not from the head. A stitch in time saves nine, according to the old saying.”