Steps to End Insurgency
By Emmanuel Onwubiko
Nigerian government has over the last two years worked on different methods of seeking an end to the bloody insurgency in Northern Nigeria which has resulted in the massacre by armed Islamic Terrorists- Boko Haram of over 12, 000 Nigerians.
But there is a cacophony of opinions from a cross segment of the Nigerian Society that the heightened situation of further attacks by these armed marauders has demonstrated that the methods employed by the Nigerian Government is either not working or is too slow to show positive results. One of those ways that the current government has made up its mind to seek a resolution of these insurgencies is through what it calls 'carrot and stick' approach meaning that both force and constructive dialogue are on the cards.
Although these methods have been applauded by very prominent Nigerians including the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Grace John Cardinal Onaiyekan and also the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria Pastor Ayo Oritshajafor but in the last couple of days, Southern Kaduna state has witnessed two severe attacks by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen against some ethnic people of that area that is dominated by Christians in what is however seen not as a religious unrest but as rising tensions over landed assets between the indigenous people and the Fulani settlers.
Most Nigerians have already condemned these spate of attacks over the last few days resulting in the killing of over one hundred persons who were murdered by suspected Fulani herdsmen in their sleep. At the weekend, five Churches were attacked by armed insurgents and several dozens of worshippers killed for their faith in Chibok, Borno sate
As someone who has vast knowledge of the diverse geopolitical regions of Nigeria by virtue of my cosmopolitan outlook and experiences over the last three decades and still counting, what affects one region of Nigeria will surely have repercussions across board since Nigeria is one huge home for all Nigerians meaning that there s hardly any part of this country that you can not find both the indigenous people and the so-called settlers in their huge numbers. For instance, in Maiduguri, Borno state and other parts of the North East I am sure of the fact that from my little village alone in Imo state, we have a significant percentage of our people that have stayed and have indeed embraced the North Eastern region of Nigeria as their home and only return to the village from time to time especially for festivities.
Therefore it is safe to state without any fear of contradiction that it is in the self enlightened interest of all Nigerians that the ongoing bloody civil unrests are quickly brought to a stop by all legitimate means possible.
In the last couple of months, we at the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria have watched with trepidation the rash of attacks targeted against innocent Nigerians both in cities and the villages including Abuja and we have decided to rationally decide to articulate our views on how the Nigerian Government and people can work collectively under a united platform to defeat the ongoing attacks by terrorists. It is our belief that what Nigeria needs now is not baseless criticism directed against the person of the President of Nigeria but we need to come together to resolve these killings by all means possible including but not limited to military force and of course constructive dialogue.
It is the opinion of most Nigerians that the infighting among the political class of all divides on which region should produce the next President in 2015 is not good enough reason for these ongoing meaningless killings by the insurgents and a coterie of murderous gangs rampaging all across all segments of the Nigerian society. It was in this mood that I directed a lawyer working for our group as a volunteer Miss. Sylvia Nwankwo to investigate and arrive at the possibility of employing disarmament and demobilization to end the upsurge in violent killings. In the next edition we will dwell extensively on this important method of conflicts resolution
+Emmanuel Onwubiko heads Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria and [email protected]; www.huriwa.org.