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Re: Dambazau, Not Deploying Soldiers Against Herdsmen is Sabotage

The press statement recently issued by the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) accusing the Honourable Minister of Interior, Retired Lieutenant General Abdulrahman Dambazau of displaying lack of passion in finding lasting solution to long-existed conflicts between herdsmen and sedentary farmers in the country is the zenith of deliberate missinformation by a group that have lost touch with reality.

To allge that a Minister who recently finished hosting the Lake Chad Basin Regional Protection Dialogue aimed at fostering stronger co-operation among member countries to defeat terrorism, fast track resettlement of displaced persons and putting an end to intermittent outbreak of conflicts between herdsmen and sedentary farmers in Nigeria is tacitly supporting the crisis amounts to the highest level of incitement and seeking the flow of blood in the channel of a clean water.

The Regional Protection Dialogue outside the multinational approach employed by our 'security-czar' Minister involving all countries sharing borders with Nigeria was prompted by the fact that Nigeria currently has 1, 400 unmanned border posts. These are porous borders that makes it easier for dangerous weapons from the Jamahiriyan Kingdom to find their ways to sub-saharan Africa which Nigeria is included.

Hence, for HURIWA to weave conspiracy theory by alleging political backup and support from the government to the Miyetti Allah Cattle Rearing Association is the the highest display of insensitivity and arrogance to the glue that hold us together as one indivisible nation under God.

In this country, when we had a government that prefared regime security to national security in place, neither HURIWA nor it's accidental leader, Emmanuel Onwubiko raised a hoot let alone accusing anybody of lacking professionalism. That is why it does not know that the Buhari Administration is just one year old when it stated that ''These (herdsmen/farmers crisis) have in the last two years taken their brazen and murderous attacks to many more states across all geopolitical zones of Nigeria than the dreaded armed Boko Haram terrorists.''

On the issue of drafting soldiers from the barracks to tackling herdsmen/sedentary farmers crisis, what was presented by HURIWA is what I would call abridged propaganda without focus. This is becaue, General Dambazau is not the Minister of Defence! Hence, to their ignorance if they do not know; the General was talking about what it takes to prevent and control crime in accordance with the constitution.

What the Minister said is that, the attacks are a non-military issue because the police have not been overwhelmed by the herdsmen. The Civil Defence are there to complement them too... It is not every security issue that you call in the military.

He went further to state that, it is the responsibilty of the police to maintain peace and order while the military maintains and secure the territorial intergrity of Nigeria. Was the Minister's statement laced in any innuendo that HURIWA could not understand?

Therefore, the question HURIWA ought to have asked is whether, unlike the decimated Boko Haram terrorists that once occupied a territory as big as Bulgaria, did herdsmen occupy any territory like that?

While I do not want to go in to the knee-jerk primordial sentiments raised by an association that can be regarded as group of ethnic entrepreneurs masquerading as nationalists, I urge HURIWA to stop metastasizing ''We and Them'' dichotomy because this government has no time for bellicose chauvinism.

Comrade Edwin Uhara is a Journalist and Public Affairs Commentator


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