THE Department of State Services, DSS, in a recent joint security operation, raided the Ibadan residence of Yoruba self-determination agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho.
The raid, according to the DSS, resulted in a gun battle which led to the death of two of Igboho’s men, arrest of 13 persons and discovery of a cache of arms. Igboho has since refuted the DSS’s claims, accusing the Service of planting the arms in his house.
Since we published on May 28, 2021 an editorial titled: “Enough of these killings”, which traced some violent killings across the world and how they threw countries into bitter wars, the bloodletting by government and non-state actors has worsened.
Violently killing innocent people, no matter the justification, always begets endless chains of revenge and more violence. There is a fallacy in the thinking that the killing of innocent people will go without repercussions or achieve anything positive.
Too much innocent blood has been shed in Nigeria from 1966 till date. If the killing of people was capable of bringing peace, Nigeria would have been one of the most peaceful countries in the world today, given the number of innocent people who have been killed both by government security agencies and criminals.
Unfortunately, we cannot set a standard for armed criminals, or appeal to them to stop the carnage; government exists to stop them. But this administration appears to pick and choose which violent group to target and which to condone.
We appeal to the Federal Government and its security agencies to desist from killing innocent and law-abiding people but focus strongly on the elimination of all forms of armed violence, irrespective of those involved and without fear or favour.
Events in the past six years have shown that the Federal Government, which had made the security of lives and property a priority, has not only been overwhelmed, but also joined the criminals in killing of indigenous people who have taken steps to defend themselves against killer herdsmen and other criminals.
To find a lasting solution to the orgy of killings in Nigeria, the states must be allowed to have their own police. There is no democratic federation of Nigeria’s size that depends on a centralised police system. The sub-national units must play their roles in the prevention, detection, investigation, conviction, correction/reform and punishment of crime and violence.
Nigerians are yearning for state police. In telling two South West governors to go back home and solve their security problems,President Muhammadu had unwittingly admitted the Federal Government’s incapacity to secure the nation alone. He should lead the way in the actualisation of the demand for state police.
We must decentralise and democratise security control.