CISLAC Laments Violent Attacks, Security Breaches
Arising from the recent violent attacks in Benue State and other security breaches in certain parts of the country, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) identifies with the victims of the violence, seeing it as an unfortunate narrative in our national development and notes the following:
1. CISLAC condemns in totality the recent herders/farmers conflicts currently ongoing in certain parts of the country and uses the medium to call on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency decisively bring to justice all criminal elements fingered to be culpable either directly or remotely in these crimes which are at the least terrifying and mindboggling.
We note that these crimes in whatever nomenclature assigned by interests or groups, run contrary to everything common-sense and good reason represents and more importantly within the context of our nation state stands in direct conflict with the letters and spirit of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
2. Recalling that the herdsmen and farmers are known to have peacefully co-existed in communities, having relationships that predates the current dispensation, the recent developments with respect to the security situation only throws up serious concerns of worry as we observe extreme exploitation of the situation by political, ethnic, economic and other vested interests.
3. We call on the Federal Government to not just caution, but also be seen to be neutral, unbiased and impartial in dealing with opinion leaders, religious leaders, other leaders of thought and the media at both at the Federal and community levels ensuring that provocative and inciting statements and comments which are mainly used in stirring violence and reprisals are at the initial instance nipped at their very roots, taking up responsible individuals and groups to duly account for their comments and actions.
4. Further recalling that the onus of securing lives and properties remains the primary responsibility of government and the current federating system being operated by the country ensures that the state security apparatus are at the order of the Commander-In-Chief, the Agencies must be proactively engaged in forestalling a breakdown in law and order across the country and also justiciably apprehend all fermenters of trouble and violent conflict.
5. Bemoaning the seeming slow and inefficient response of the Government to security issues which leaves a lot to misguided perceptions, and inflammation/escalation of such conflicts, there is need for the Government to become more alert, sensitive and holistic to addressing not just the current threats and violence in Benue state, but across the entire country.
6. Understanding that peaceful co-existence can only be achieved through dialogue and consultations, a broad stakeholder engagement taking into account the peculiarities of all actors in the conflict must as matter of urgency be facilitated for proffering agreeable positions and venting out grievances which is a key requirement towards reconciliation and development.
CISLAC as a responsible civil society institution remains committed to a progressive national agenda that fosters peaceful and just co-existence and development of all ethnic nationalities in the country.
We by this means also call on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency activate machinery for engaging the state governments and other relevant actors with the mandate of preferring and implementing plausible and proven long lasting solutions to the problem.
Signed by :
Auwal Musa Rafsanjani
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)