By Oby Ezekwesili
Mr President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, having watched with consternation the criminal massacre of our fellow Nigerians especially in the first half of this year without any evidence of fierce sense of urgency on the part of your government to end the abnormality, I have a simple question for you today. Are you by any strange possibility in need of the spilt blood of your citizens? I personally reckon that the answer to this outlandish question which some of your citizens are now asking in utter frustration is NO.
If therefore your own response is NO as I direly hope it is, I have a few DEMANDS to make on you to STOP THE KILLINGS NOW!
I am addressing my message to you as the President and C-in-C of Nigerian Armed Forces. I am addressing my DEMANDS to you as that one individual bestowed with the powers of centralized command and control of our security institutions and personnel to enforce the provisions of Section 14 subsection 2b of the Nigerian Constitution (As amended) which states that, “the welfare and security of the citizens shall be the primary purpose of the government”. Hence
- Stop the daily killing of Nigerians by terrorist-herdsmen now! Nigeria must not be changed into a vast killing field under your watch, Mr President.
- Stop normalizing endless blood flow of even our innocent children in the land now!!! Stop the blood letting. It is an aberration.
- Share the credible strategy and solutions of your administration to the daily killings of Nigerians with the people.
- Reveal the identities of all the perpetrators of at least all killings that have happened under your administration in plateau, Benue, Taraba, Kaduna, Zamfara, Adamawa, Nassarawa, Kogi and other states and the state of judicial proceedings to secure deterrent sanctions. Reveal the identities, arrest and array all suspected murderers in court now!!!
- End the freedom to kill and maim that the Nigerian has handed to terrorist-herdsmen. Commence effective investigation, arrest, prosecution and sanction of perpetrators of violent crimes in all affected states now. 5b. Give justice to the dead now and secure the living in all affected communities.
- End the ineffectiveness of our security establishments, systems and processes now.
- Stop rewarding the incompetence and failure of leadership of the security architecture of Nigeria. The cost of their failure is extremely high in the 1,196 (approx) Nigerians that have died in only the first five and half months of this year.
- End your loyalty to your service chiefs and head of security because of their loyalty to your person. It is a breach of the oath you swore into office to place Nigeria above your personal interest. It is simply put, an abuse of office.
- Stop your cold and visible lack of empathy toward a segment of your citizens who are daily killed with impunity while you personally make and issue statements that include endorsing their killers’ scandalous justification of their crime as a mere retaliatory act for lost cows.
- Stop the seeming troubling endorsement by your administration of the repugnant admission by an organization that it kills human beings who are your citizens for their own lost cows. Sanction the inspector general of police now if the Nigerian police fails to arrest those who allegedly made the recent herdsmen association statement and their members who were assigned to execute the so-called ‘retaliatory attacks’.
- Mr President, your bias in handling the killings and abductions of certain segment of Nigerians is all too obvious and unbecoming of a leader of a diverse nation like Nigeria. All Nigerian lives matter!
- Stop the blame game and your confusing statements on the killings of your citizens. Today, Maumer Qaddafi’s Libya destabilization. Tomorrow, your political opponents. Next week, the affected-communities of state who are already victims of the criminal negligence and failure to protect by your administration.
- Commission an urgent independent research and study into the root causes for evidence based comprehensive approach to build back the broken down community peace and security in affected states.
- Lead a national discussion to agree a market based policy on cattle ranching and grass/forage supplies as a fundamental solution to the herdsmen-farmers crisis.
- Immediately convene a meeting of all communities affected by terrorist-herdsmen and use your presidential soft power to mobilize Nigerians for sustainable peace. This would include discussions on how to govern land, water and pasture in a market-based manner where no group feels entitled to the others’ assets. Support communities to institute local conflict resolution systems, mechanisms and platforms.
- Provide progress report on national food security council that Mr President inaugurated and chairs to tackle the herdsmen-farmer crisis: Provide the Nigerian Public with the progress report of the National Food Security Council which you inaugurated on Monday, March 26, 2018 under your Chairmanship. At the time of inauguration, you announced the broad objectives of the Council as being, “to developing sustainable solutions to the farmers–herdsmen clashes; Climate Change and Desertification and their impact on farmland; grazing areas and lakes, rivers and other water bodies; oil spillage and its impact on Niger Delta Fishing Communities; piracy and banditry; agricultural research institutions and extension services and the problem of smuggling.”
- Enough of what could be interpreted as implicit complicity of your administration in the frequent killings of your citizens Mr President!!!
- #NoMoreKillings. #StopTheKillings. #ActForResultsNOW. #MrPresident