Northern Nigeria has become a boulevard for every absurdity, ranging from kidnapping, armed banditry, Boko Haram insurgency, cattle rustling, armed robbery, communal clashes. The recent onslaught along the Kaduna-Abuja railway, the killing of 106 people in Kanam LGA, and the Taraba bomb expulsion, among others, are sufficient to substantiate that northern Nigeria needs to regain its previous peace, unity, and economic strength.
Starting with the North-East, Boko Haram has been administering the region since 2009. As a result, thousands of lives were lost; a million fled their abodes as well as the wreckage of properties worth billions of naira. The catastrophe doesn’t stop there, fairly, putting an interlude between the region’s agriculture and education. Nonetheless, wards in the region are vulnerable to insecurity. As such, the situation is deteriorating day in and day out.
Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Zamfara, and Kaduna states are nowhere to be found; killings and abductions are everywhere. However, except for Kano, the aforementioned states are beleaguered by abject poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, inadequate educational and health infrastructure, and a large number of out-of-school children.
In those days, northern Nigeria was the home of peace and hospitality, the most religious and the only agricultural hub with a vast cultural heritage that attracted both local and international tourists. As such, the North fed the nation. The extremely irksome question is, for how long would these problems last in the region? We are bored with the bloodletting!
Though it may sound weird to some readers, I have no choice but to voice it out in my quest to unearth a lasting peace for the region and Nigeria as a whole. Here in the North, half of the population has the belief that the region’s politicians are behind the predicaments. Of course, they might be, but the actual point is that those people we refer to as our time-honoured leaders played a vital role in the escalation of the turmoil. The extra sections to be blamed are the magistrate and shariah courts’ arbiters, as well as other local autocratic bodies.
My point is, those people we usually call and address as kidnappers, bandits, or guardsmen, are victims of circumstances, perhaps one or two times, falling victims of injustice either in a court of law (as aforesaid) or any other traditional dispute arbiter before taking out the arsenals.
The North can only be a peaceful region again when the local autocrats end the cruelty of seizing herdsmen’s belongings and calling them names.
The farmer/herdsmen crisis should be given solid concern through reasonable resolutions when the vigilante group, local autocrats and arbiters stop seizing their cattle, goats, and sheep deliberately. If not, the menace of kidnapping, armed banditry, robbery and other insecurity challenges would never come to an end.
At this point, let me draw the attention of the federal, state, and local officials to please put more efforts into the issue to stop the heinous act immediately for peace, unity, and advancement.
Ukasha Magama, Bauchi State.