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Nigeria’s security challenges: Any way out?

Nigeria’s security challenges: Any way out?

The recent allegation that Fulani herdsmen are responsible for the killings and kidnappings in the country have led to some Northern groups asking the Fulani herdsmen to come back to the North. Our correspondent, Kayode Olabanji,  speaks with lawyers on the issue. 


Mr Charles Titiloye, a legal practitioner and Human Rights Activist

The killings and kidnappings cum upsurge in criminal activities in Nigeria call for the coming together of all and sundry to address the situation.

While government is trying its best to curtail the situation, Nigerians must compliment the efforts of security agents by offering intelligence report in time, which can help in preventing criminality in this country.

Government on its part must address poverty and unemployment which have resorted  to criminal activities by jobless youth.

There must be a national planning to absorb the unemployed youths so that their idleness will not make them willing tools in the hand on criminals.

I condole with the Family of Pa Fasoranti on the unfortunate incident that led to the death of Mrs Funke Olakunrin.

May her soul rest in peace. Amen. We cannot continue to lose our best to avoidable death and criminal killings.

Government must speedily arrest those responsible for her murder in order to reassure the citizenry of their safety while in transit on Nigeria roads.

Commerce which heavily depends on road transportation will face serious cut in revenue if safety of travellers cannot be guaranteed.

The federal and state governments must set up fresh highway security Corps, consisting of police and soldiers with mandate to patrol roads in this country.

They should be well equipped by the Federal government in conjunction with state governments.

Specially trained security personnel should now take over security of Nigeria roads to curtail criminal activities on the roads. Tracking devices and drones should be deployed to smoke out bandits from their hiding places in the forest. Funds made from kidnappings should be tracked by the EFCC to the sponsors of these criminal activities.

Mr Kehinde Aladedutire, a legal practitioner

It is most disheartening, disturbing and unfortunate that precious lives are being lost almost on daily basis to the activities of these herdsmen or call them armed bandits.

It has got to a stage where people are afraid to travel out of their towns to nearby towns for the fear of being kidnapped or killed. The primary responsibility of the government, which is to secure lives of its citizens has been defeated.

Our Constitution makes it a priority in Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution, “that every citizen should enjoy the right to life.”  But this could no longer be guaranteed in the minimum level.

 The right to freedom of movement is also failing. Our highways have become the snare of the fowlers. We hope the country is not gradually becoming a failed state in spite of what the sycophants are saying.

We cannot also rule out the fact that some criminal elements amongst the Fulanis (maybe their foreign kinsmen), have also invaded our country. Remember that the President and El Rufai once confirmed that these invaders who are in the spree of killings are foreigners.

The regular Fulanis have always been with us. But it appears there are some criminal elements amongst them which has led to their being demonized. Some fanatical Northern Fulanis who gave Federal government ultimatum and those who calledl the Fulanis back to the North are also fuelling the already kindled conflagration.

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I hope they are not praying for the biblical statement of ‘to your tents Oh Israel’ which would finally break up the nation.

I think it is high time the Presidency issued a strong statement against the criminal ‘Fulanis.

We can’t rule out the fact that majority of our people in the South West who have escaped from the grip of these bandits have testified that they are Fulanis. The latest is the unfortunate incident of Pa Fasoranti’s daughter.

The government should beef up security on all our highways. They should set up pro active intelligence squad who would unravel the millionaire sponsors of these bandits who wield sophisticated weapons. The government should comb our  forests, using military helicopters and other security apparatuses to fish out the criminals.

 Barring these measures, the government with what is going on, is indirectly calling for the breaking up of the nation. May God save Nigeria.

Otunba Yemi Adetoyinbo, a legal practitioner and Human Rights Activist

The security situation of the country has been further pummeled and tilted towards that of  the Banana Republic due to the recent upsurge of massive killings, sporadic  attacks and endless murders of innocent citizen  in their farmlands, homelands, places of worship, on the highways and even at both broad daylight and midnight hours when the Fulani herdsmen often and incessantly devastates the entire landscape without any form of resistance by the nation’s security apparition.

The incessant massive and unchecked, wanton and unregulated killings of innocent citizens by the so-called Fulani herdsmen, having the massive use of arms, ammunitions, explosives and other dangerous weapons, including shooting downtown of innocent citizens mercilessly across the land beginning from issues of Cattle rustlers in Zamfara, Plateau, Katsina, and the headquarters of the Fulani herdsmen carnage, Benue State, has reached a boiling point of crescendo in Taraba and Nasarawa states that the Governor of Taraba State,  Dairius lshaku Dickson, wept openly in a mass burial at the church service for slain innocent citizens of the state and casting aspersions on the seemingly unconcerned attitudes of security agencies.

Especially the soldiers and the police to the killings, when alerted before hand, same lamentations in Nasarawa massacre with the killings of over 20,000 Nigerians in recent times, allegedly by Fulani herdsmen, and backed by the Miyetti Allah Cattle breeders Association.

The  lack of the Federal government’s commitment to drastically arrest the menace in which the Fulani herdsmen carnage had drifted the nation  into ethno religious, and sectarian lines, as Fulani hegemony and the godly status the cow Fulani/Cattle Fulani, had taken Nigeria backwards.

The recent upsurge of massive killings, and the kidnapping of Chief Olu Falae, when he was made to sleep on bare ground in the bush for 3 days, with other notable kidnapping cases, when suddenly the news of the murder of Mrs Olufunke Olakunrin, daughter of Afenifere National Leader, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, is a dangerous clarion call, for it to be tagged a murder by Fulani herdsmen bandits or what else, if the security architecture of Nigeria had failed, legally speaking, all Fulani herdsmen should be outlawed from carrying arms and anybody carrying guns unlawfully should be made to face Criminal charges in line with the provisions of The Administration of Criminal Justice Act and that of the States. The Criminal Procedures Acts And similar provisions in the Criminal and Penal codes or laws applicable to the States of the federation, so as to curb this ugly menace.

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When considering the killings in Ekiti farms, Osun farms, Edo, Delta, even murder of Traditional Ruler by the herdsmen over grazing rights, in Eastern Nigerian States, now the RUGA plan that remains unpopular and dead on arrival, government should allow the herdsmen negotiate and acquire lands across the Country on purely private economic business transactions and to pay for such acquisitions, rather than forceps takeover of farmlands, and killings of land owners over their lands the Security Structure and Security system in the country be overhauled immediately to take us out of the Fulani herdsmen carnage, and failure of government to do the needful might result into self helps across the land and unlawful acts.

The increasing rise in Criminality especially killings, kidnappings, murders having been so prevalent, whether, it is crimes committed by herdsmen or notorious armed bandits or  not, the full wrath of the law, the fangs of the full wrath of the law should be brought to bear to serve as deterrent to others, section 33 of the 1999 Constitution is very clear, that any person who unlawfully terminates the life of another person, his own life shall be taken, through constitutional and legal means, while by virtue of Section 35(4) of the 1999 Constitution a person arrested or detained upon a reasonable suspicion of his having committed the Criminal offense should be brought before a competent Court of law and be Charged to Court accordingly, the question now is how many Fulani herdsmen has been arrested and charged to Court and prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others ever since, Suleiman V COP (2008) 3NCC4(SC Decision, also in Ahmad V COP BAUCHI STATE (2008) 9NWLR(Pt. 309)@104 and Section 315 of the Criminal Code, says any person who unlawfully kills another is guilty of an offense which is called murder of slaughter according to the Circumstances of the Case and most importantly Section 316, (1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6) If a person unlawfully  kills another person intentionally he too shall die.

All this should apply mutatis mutandis and suomtu to the Killers of Late Funke Olakunrin, who incidentally was a lawyer and Colleague similarly applies to the abducted Mr Gerald, who was abducted on the same day Olakunrin was killed in the motorcade, you all know the Fulani herdsmen that abducted him were sentenced to death and life imprisonment on degrees of involvements.

Mr   Kayode Adeusi, a legal practitioner

If the order from the Northern Elders, groups, that calls on Fulani Herdsmen back to North is obeyed, it could go a long way to reduce the killings. But it is my view  that vice has become a pattern that appears ‘lucrative’ for the criminal elements in the south and we could have pockets of kidnap and killing till the criminals of southern extraction are deterred.

Mr Gani Ashiru, a legal practitioner.

Legally, there should be a law proffering a stiffer penalty for kidnappings both at the federal and state levels.

Some Eastern states:  Kaduna and Zamfara have done this. As for Kaduna and those Eastern states, since the enactment of the law, kidnapping and other security menaces have been brought down.

Now that the Northern Elders groups have  ordered Fulani herdsmen back to North, could that be the end to killings in Southern part of the country?

Well, I doubt. That may not be the end if truly the Fulanis/herdsmen are behind all the killings. In fact, I do not believe that they are responsible for all the killings, and kidnappings we are witnessing in the country judging from the arrests made by our security operatives. Afterall Evans is neither a Fulani nor an herdsman.

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Two months ago in my town (Arigidi Akoko), two women were killed. One, on her way home, while the other in her room. Their throats were slashed, with their breasts and private parts cut. Yet, no Fulani man was alleged. Earlier before the time, similar thing happened at Ikare Akoko, a Fulani was not fingered.

I am not saying Fulanis are not involved. But when you view the situation from those arrested, you will find that non Fulanis were involved in some cases, while in many cases Fulani were involved, there were natives’  collaborators.

For more than a decade now, we have been facing this security challenges which we did little to curb.

I believe the killing of Chief Bola Ige, was not done by Fulani. Even the killing of Oluboyo’s daughter was not by an herdsman.

The calling back home may be a solution to some extent, but not a total and final one.

Both the governments and our leaders are to cooperate in this regard. The security votes/funds must be judicially and judiciously utilised for the purpose.

I know if government is determined to get rid of these menaces, they would do it.

Take for instance when a military personnel was killed by Dongo men at a Benin suburb some years back, within days we saw the end of Dongo in Benin.

In Auga, Ise-Akoko, we saw the military in action when an officer was captured.

I must warn that we should study the call by Northern leaders and elders carefully and strictly. The call by the Eastern leaders in 1966/67 and the aftermath should not be forgotten.

Mr Ikujuni Ademola, a legal practitioner.

The incessant killings in the country has been a clog in the heart of the nation. Whether it is by the herders or the arm bandits is immaterial. This, as can be perceived may eventually lead to a civil war in our country. It is a notorious fact that in every angles of this nation, there are grieves, pains and unrest.

It has been widely pronounced that the herders that perpetrated these heinous acts, which to me may be right, because if some of them were not seen, people will not be head bent as to who the killers/kidnappers are. So many of the people caught in the web who paid ransoms and thereafter  left of the hook gave testimonies that these bad eggs are Fulanis.

These people cannot lie about who their kidnappers are. Herders have been in virtually all parts of the country without any criminality for years. Why is it that the moment the number one citizen came on board, they unleashed their nefarious acts?

 It is, however, disheartening that till we speak, the president has not mentioned anything about these people. It should be realised that we are one and equal in this nation. He was voted for by Nigerians and not Fulani’s alone. IPOB were not this inhuman.

I know of two persons who came close to death in their hands and they affirmed that they are Fulanis. We all saw the video that went viral on social media about a woman who came from abroad with her family,  who shared her terrible experience.

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