REACTIONS have continued to trail the proposal by Miyetti Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) to establish youth vigilante group in the five states of the South-East.
THE proposal sparked wild reactions from several groups of eastern roots who chose the media, pressure groups, town hall meetings and other platforms to vent their condemnation of the initiative considered too bizarre for their fathoming.
GOVERNMENTS of South East states, under their various governors and opinion leaders got a fair share of bashings by provoked eastern indigenes for a sin they neither committed nor were accomplices to its construction.
FOR all intent and purpose, the South East Security Summit, convened by the governors of the region was meant to strengthen existing peace which the region has enjoyed overtime.
IT IS therefore shocking that such item likely to breach the same peace nurtured by all the people in the region would make subtle way into their agenda to portray the governors respected by their people in demeaned intellectual fashion.
SOUTH Easterners, in their hospitable nature, have always welcomed visitors and strangers with open arms. They had enjoyed peaceful life and robust relationship with friends and allies but since herders made entry into their region through their bushes and farmlands, they seem to apply more caution than ordinarily would have been. The entrance of herdsmen in Eastern region’s communities where crop farming is the predominant agricultural practice had led to confrontations between herders and members of the community; such that trust no longer find firm root in their blend.
BUT if establishing vigilante groups in the heart of the Eastern communities is the best thing to come from the herdsmen, the locals will have enough reasons to dub them invaders. Definitely, members of host communities will detest them. More so, the devastation of their farms, raping of their women and girls, killings of their men and desecration of their lands are developments that any sane land detests.
HOST communities will expect those behind the heinous acts of killings and despoilage of people’s homelands which have in recent times been linked to herdsmen to be first apprehended and tried in accordance with the law before the suggestion of the Miyetti Allah vigilante. The law seems to cease to be effective when cattle herders and communities get at daggers drawn. The best outcome had been quelling the conflicts without efforts to bring culprits to book.
THE question is: What is the assurance that these herders, prone to violence, would uphold the sacred values of the communities they want to protect? The states of Bornu, Adamawa, Yobe, Gombe, Zamfara are good examples of states under the siege of terrorism in Nigeria and herders have shown that they are not different from the Boko Haram terrorists with their operations and schemes.
RATHER than stoke the fires of discord with this kind of proposal which Miyetti Allah made, National Light believes that institutions that strengthen national unity should be fortified the more.
The police, military and other security operatives legally established in the country should be reorganised and reformed to meet the exigencies of the time in crime fighting.
IF THREATS to social harmony are viewed without cynicism, law breakers won’t be getting away with their acts.
WE EQUALLY believe that it is only when convincing seriousness on the part of government in dealing with herders, excesses and terrorism are seen by the masses, that confidence and trusts of locals to accommodate all will receive big boost.
THE leaders of thought in Eastern Nigeria should not be pitched against their people with provocative innuendoes from outsiders they wish to accommodate as brothers in the Nigeria federation.
WHATEVER insult the governors and other Igbo leaders got from their subjects on this issue should be blamed on the northern leaders that allow their kit and kin to act with unrestrained aplomb on issues even as sensitive as national security.