By Ikechukwu Odu
The Convener of Middle-Belt Scholars, Comrade David Wayas, yesterday, described the ‘unknown gunmen’ as a nomenclature used by the Federal Government to deceive Nigerians.
Wayas who spoke at the university town of Nsukka, Enugu State, alleged that there is no difference between the unknown gunmen, marauding herdsmen and bandits who are gruesomely killing Nigerians in their numbers in different states.
While appreciating the Middle-Belt/Southern Governors’ stands on open grazing and power shift in 2023, he called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address the issue of marginalisation of the two regions in juicy appointments by his administration.
He equally said that the 100% compliance recorded during the sit-at-home-order declared by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPoB, was an indication that things have fallen apart in Nigeria and that the Federal Government is losing its control power on Nigerians.
He called on the Federal Government to name the killer herdsmen a terrorist organisation, adding that the increasing calls for secession from Nigeria is an indication that the government has lost the trust of Nigerians because of failure of leadership.
He said ” Insecurity is increasing in Nigeria on a daily basis. From Benue, Taraba, Plateau ,Niger States to that of South East States and the country at large.
” The present government has developed a nomenclature to deceive Nigerians. Instead of saying that the ongoing killings are being carried out by herdsmen and bandits, it would shift the responsibility to ‘unknown gunmen.’ You can imagine government officials carrying money to settle bandits and other bad elements, and you think they want insecurity to stop in Nigeria? They meet with them, take photographs and come out to tell us that they are unknown gunmen.
“If you arrest herdsmen and hand them over to the police, they would leave there before you. The body language of the powers that be show that the herdsmen are first-class citizens in Nigeria. We can’t continue this way. Look at the situation in South East, South West and even in the North East and West, herdsmen are attacking everywhere. When you allow wrong things to continue, you are paving ways for more wrong things to emanate. People are aware that some cabals are behind these herdsmen, that is why they are untouchable.”
While appreciating the Southern Governors on their position on open grazing of cattle, he said “As a body of scholars from Middle-Belt, we identify with Southern Governors on their stand on open grazing. We also identify with the Middle Belt/Southern position on the shift of leadership in 2023. We also support the call for justice. We don’t want the idea of one section of the country ruling Nigeria. The Middle-Belt is the bridge of this nation and should not be excluded by the present government.
“The calls for secession is as a result of blantant exclusion of some zones in leadership positions. How can you have an administration constituted of only one small segment of the country? The insecurity we are facing today is hinged on this exlusion of some ethinic groups from leadership positions.
“We want one Nigeria where peace and equity would be the watchwords of everyone.”