Nigeria: why Has The Security & Welfare Of Cattle And Herdsmen Caused So Much Deaths And Sorrow?
One of the most important actions of government, whether elected or not is the oath taking under schedule 7 of the 1999 constitution; similarly provided for by the previous constitution, to protect the said constitution. The critical aspects of the constitution in this discourse are the guaranteed rights of citizens who are subjects of every government.
It is sad to note that various governments and in particular APC government have literarily treated these guaranteed rights of citizens with levity, now to an intense crescendo. Everyone can see that the consequence has been induced lawlessness rather than engendering the rule of law. Where the rule of law fails because of the ineptitude of persons in authority and adoption of double standard, in execution doubts, despondency, lack of faith and moral crises creep in.
In such situations patriotic citizens, well-meaning and concerned people would roll their sleeves to salvage their inalienable rights enshrined in the constitution, African Charter on Human Rights and the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights (UNDHR). It is also in this type of situation that the 18th century British Political Philosopher, Edmund Burke quite aptly warned that all it takes for evil to triumph if for men of goodwill to be silent in the times of moral crisis.
Abuse of power especially by constituted authorities like governments have remained historical invariables that cannot be wished away but confronted by vigilant and courageous citizens. It was also such a time in Germany when a 20thcentury poet P. Niomeller wrote.
“In Germany, they first came for communist and I did not speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for theJews I did not speak because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I did not speak up because I was a protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
With the present state of the nation, few months leading to 2019 general election, the major issue is certainly who would protect lives and properties by stopping the bloodshed that is rampaging several states in Nigeria.
Therefore if “election” means validation by the electorates, persons contesting to govern through pluralistic plat forms, then “re-election” is certainly re-validation. So before any patriotic electorate casts a vote in the forth – coming election, there should be a solemn moment of self – examination as to why you cast a vote for the government that has failed to protect lives and properties without seriously enforcing the clear laws against perpetrators. Worse still no official , even a clerk resigned over this.
Paradoxically this was the critical dilemma that raised fears among international community that if Dr Good luck Jonathan was re-elected in 2015 general election, it would have been re-validation of Boko Haram’s rampage and bloodshed. But Herdsmen are doing exactly that.
Needless to say more except to condole with families of unfortunate victims of this theatre of needless massacre of innocent citizens.
Iyke Ozemena is a Corporate Attorney/Consultant at Ikechukwu O. Odoemelam & Co.