The gruesome murder of a person in Ikot Atasung village, Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State recently by suspected Fulani herdsmen signposts the security situation in Nigeria and indeed in the state is abating.
The unprovoked murder perpetrated by criminally minded persons together with other unethical activities aimed at disrupting peace and turning the society into a lawless state is not only condemnable but is also unwarranted.
The advent of democracy in Nigeria has opened a new vista to insecurity. And the militarised democracy has worsened the safe, secure environment usually enjoyed by our people. Unfortunately, our leaders have, over the years, exhibited absolute incapability, insincere actions and dishonest methods that have not helped in nipping crimes in the bud.
In addition, our justice system has contributed immensely by entrenching delayed tactics and relying on archaic laws in the face of upsurge and overflowing criminal tides in the society. Moreover, most political office seekers in their greed and desperation have churned out ignominious roles by adopting crude but unlawful methods to outdo their opponents and occupy the envisaged office.
For some years now, Fulani herdsmen, secret cultists, bandits, kidnappers and ritual killers, through their ignoble activities, have devised underhanded strategies to disrupt the peace matrix of the loving and accommodating people.
For example, suspected IPOB members have killed more than 15 security personnel in the Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Army, and Nigeria Custom Service in Akwa Ibom this year alone. The aerial bombardment of 12 villages in Essien Udim Local Government Area is pointer to the mayhem perpetrated by the suspected hoodlums and miscreants in turning the peaceful state into a beastly and violent one.
Like virus, the ‘near-war’ situation in the affected villages has sparked refugees’ crisis and heightened food and other forms of cataclysm in the affected villages with spiraling effects to neighbouring communities.
Be that as it may, there is need for Akwa Ibom government to send ban on open grazing law to the state House of Assembly to checkmate any infraction degenerating into a despicable situation.
Though the state government had outlawed more than 65 cult groups, the law is defective in that no court of law has tried the suspects.
Again, politicians and some privileged individuals, some security personnel who are members of the cult group are helping in the growth of such bodies and by implication are helping to sustain and aid arrested and suspected to escape prosecution. So, give the law teeth to bite, no matter whose ox is gored.
Let different communities form vigilante organizations to safeguard and protect their communities from invasion of the Fulani herdsmen.
Let the 31 local government chairmen wake up to their responsibility by ensuring protection of life and property of the citizenry they had sworn to uphold. They can do this by providing funds and other forms of assistance to the vigilantes to assisting and bolstering them to put up superb performance.
The security operatives in the state capital and in the local government areas must be on red alert by performing their duties without prejudice or bias.
The Federal and state government must, of necessity, properly fund, provide incentives and provide the operatives with adequate working tools to stem criminal activities. There is need to recruit more personnel in the force.
It is our firm belief and strong hope that if the Federal and state governments and individuals show unremitting commitment and resolve to curbing the security challenges afflicting us, our flustered and disconnected society would return to Oasis of peace, prosperity and abundance.