By Charles Nwabardi
The Southern Governors recently held an enlarged meeting in Asaba and resolved among others that there will be no more open grazing in the southern part of Nigeria. This resolution has a part that says that the Federal Government should support willing states that want to help the herders develop ranches. What a magnanimity!
This move by the Southern governors was supported by their people, southern legislators in both Senate and House of Representatives. What else? The owners of the land have spoken
The people of the Southern part of Nigeria live in the South, identified their problems and know how to begin to solve them.
After the resolutions of the meeting were made public, there were spontaneous reactions from groups and individuals. The one that touched on this chosen topic is the reaction of Senator Ali Ndume, representing Borno South and Chairman Senate Committee on Army. Ndume called the resolution a “Blame Game”.
He argued that what the Southern Governors did was a deviation from real insecurity matter.
He, Ndume agreed that there are challenges in South-East (in Southern part); South-West (in Southern part) but played down the prevailing insecurity in South-South by saying that the South-South is peaceful. I wonder why a distinguished Senator like Ali Ndume whose house is still burning should say that South-South is peaceful. If he is not in South-South, does he not read newspapers, magazines and Social Media? What about radio and television?No one in Nigeria should feign ignorance on the insecurity situation in South-South geopolitical zone.
South-South is one of the most dangerous zones to live in now because of the insecurity pervading the Area. Farms (the sustainer of the people) are destroyed by herders’ cattles; owners of farms killed and maimed because they dare challenge herders for destoying their crops; kindnappings; rape, armed robbery and armed banditry. Ndume has forgotten that the people of South-South no longer go to their farms for fear of being killed by herders. Ndume has forgotten the consequences of people no longer farming.
Ndume has forgotten that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown? The Governors are at the receiving end. He has finally forgotten that these governors’ hands are tied because all the security operatives receive order from Abuja? This is why the governors are calling for state police. The issue of insecurity in South-South should be devoid of sentiment and it is staring all of us at the face.
The Southern Governors have towed the right path as they have done the needful to protect their people and give them sense of belonging in their own land. The Governors’ resolution is long over due because the yearnings of their people are overflowing out of their ears. It is a truism that herders are not only the cause of insecurity in the south-south but their case touched all the strata of the Zone. A journey of one thousand miles starts with a step. He that owns the house knows how to organize the house for sanity and decorum. Let all hands be on deck to stamp out insecurity in Nigeria in general and South-South Geo-political Zone in particular. May God save us.