End Spate Of Killing In Idoma Land
Insurgency has become a trend across the globe for enormous reasons chief of which may be a perceived inability of the government to provide adequate policing within the dictates of its territory. This is a political factor. Other identified causes of insurgency include religious extremism and a widening gap between leaders and followers. Leaders in this instance include elected political officials, members of their family, their business associates and followers with links to government officials. Where the gap is wider than normal, younger persons in the larger society holding the shorter end of the bargain, if morally bereft cave under pressure to meet up with the demands of livelihood. This is the social twist.
In recent times, communities across Idoma land have witnessed a surge in violent crimes. About four days ago, a middle-aged man Mr. Emmanuel Okpe was gunned down in his compound at the county Ai-Ochai village, in Okpudu, Okpoga, Okpokwu Local government area of Benue State. Prior to that event, it was reported in the media that armed thugs invaded and brought to rubbles, the entire compound of Chief Paul Amanyi (Easy) a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in the locality and Clan Head of Ehicho-Ugwu, in the same Okpoga district.
According to an eye witness report, on the 23rdof February, 2016, armed bandits numbering over thirty, held students of Apa College of Education, Ai-Idogodo, Okpoga hostage in their hostels, for over three hours and carted away with valuables worth hundreds of thousands. These events have continued to threaten the peace of the society as residents for fear of being killed or attacked are constrained to seek accommodation elsewhere where security is guaranteed. Unfortunately, a secure environment has suddenly become a figment of imagination across most communities in Idoma land.
The Agatu people, in Agatu local government area of the sate are the worst hit as they lie awake, waiting to be slaughtered on their beds by some blood-thirsty marauders. With over a hundred and fifty lives lost and several properties worth millions of naira destroyed so far in this renewed attack, it is pertinent that a lasting solution be provided by relevant authorities. Although, the twist in the recent attacks as reported, is the presence of helicopters which occupants were seen supplying weapons to the invaders. This prods one to ask if an end to this carnage is in sight or not. What is currently obtainable across Idomaland may cause one to conclude that the Benue State government’s effort to rid the state illegal arms and ammunition may have yielded little or no result. A sad reality!
The local police team though aware of this terrible situation is clearly helpless within the dictates of the current circumstance. They are poorly equipped and their welfare is discouraging, consequently, men and officers of the force would rather refrain from adequately protecting property and lives since they obviously lack capacity to so perform. Local vigilante service(s) made up of mainly volunteers is struggling to contain the menace. This development is an ugly one and should not be in a society like Nigeria especially as the present government is already investing heavily in security.
Unless deliberate steps are taken by government, community and religious leaders, to nip this development, these events may escalate across Idoma land. House-to-house robbers will quickly metamorphose to highway robbers, assasins and kidnappers. If the sponsors and persons involved in these acts are not investigated and jailed, they may boost the rank of the Boko Haram terrorist cell which though hibernating is yet to disband.
Already, residents look up to government to provide them with security. For fear of an unknown end, they would rather not complain openly. The state government is plagued with illiquidity and may not have the might to provide additional support to security agents.
Ending this situation is therefore squarely on the Nigeria Police Force, Civil defense corp and the Nigerian Military. Maybe an amnesty deal should be considered for Fulani herdsmen across the entire country.
It is the primary role of every government to protect its citizens and residents across Idoma land must enjoy this responsibility of government towards them.
Comrade Omaga E. Daniel is the Public Relations Officer, Idoma Elite Club, Worldwide.