DONS EZE, PhD

WHEN A GOVERNMENT FAILS TO PROTECT ITS CITIZENS

The primary responsibility of every government is the protection of lives and properties of its citizens, wrote Philosopher Aristotle, several centuries ago. To that end, Aristotle proposed that any government that fails to protect lives and properties of its people, that its citizens are justified in overthrowing it.

This seems to be what is currently happening in Nigeria, where different state governments and geopolitical zones are making their own internal security arrangements, not minding the fact that the federal government already has its own organs that are charged with the internal security of its citizens, like the Nigeria police Force, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), etc.

For long, Nigerians have been complaining and lamenting about the activities of murderous Fulani herdsmen who rampage towns and villages, burn down houses and farmlands, rape women, kill, kidnap and maim people in their numbers. The people will cry for help, and call on the federal government to intervene and protect them from the rampaging Fulani group. But nobody will listen to them. The government will keep a deaf ear, or will look the other way.

This has emboldened the murderous Fulani gang who will continue to operate with impunity and reckless abandon, believing that since they have an Abraham as a father, nothing will ever happen to them. And true to type, nothing really has happened to them.

Till date, no Fulani herdsman has been arraigned in any court of law for burning down houses and farmlands. None of them is being tried for rape, murder and kidnap of innocent citizens. None has been convicted for illegal possession of AK-47 rifle, etc.

Many people are worried, believing that perhaps, these Fulani herdsmen are on a special mission: the mission to take possession of their land, and to wipe them out of the surface of the earth.

Thus, after waiting on the government to do something and nothing is happening, the people decided to take their own destiny in their hands. It is only a tree that will be told that it is going to be cut down, that will remain in the same place. As such, they begin to set up their own internal security networks.

In the South West, the people came up with Amotekun, a joint security network for all the state governments in the zone. Amotekun has now assumed the responsibility of securing the lives and properties of the people in the South West. This is what has informed some state governments in the area to issue a quit notice to Fulani herdsmen in the area, to vacate their forests.

In the South East, the Nnamdi Kanu led Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), has set up the Eastern Security Network (ESN), to protect lives and properties of people of the area. With the recent announcement by the Governors of the South East Zone, that they have banned open grazing in the region, the ESN comes out forcefully, saying that they will strictly enforce the ban.

Up north, states in the North Central geopolitical zone may also be coming out with their own security network. States in the South South may equally do the same. Gradually, Nigeria begins to drift, states and geopolitical zones, giving way from the centre, until perhaps, Nigeria ceases to exist!

If, and or when this happens, we will have nobody to blame, but ourselves.

Dr. Dons Eze, KSJI

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