Heralds Of death and the Sleeping Government by Francis Ojima Akoji Esq
It was Thurgood Marshall who asserted that,”where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.”
The fact that Life is sacred is universally accepted. The United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are the foundation of man-made international laws on respect for the dignity of the human person which paved way for other local and international legislations including the African Charter on Human and People’s Right, all of which have been ratified by the Nigerian Constitution in compliance with the provisions of Section 12 of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
We live in about the most religious nation in the world. And it is the teaching of our various religions to treat life as sacred, and not to commit any breach of it.It is however worrisome and mind boggling, how our beloved country is fast becoming a theatre of horror,an arena of bloodshed a death’s field to say the least. One is trapped in awe of how sacred things – Human life, is regrettably treated with levity and ignominy. We wake every other day to news of massacre and various issues of national insecurity. And the disturbing thing about these is the spate at which the existence of a government is becoming an illusion or a farce in the comity of nations.
The paramount duty of the State to her citizens is the protection of life and properties. The proponents of the various Theories of Social Contract all agree to the fact that the people have submitted their will to a government who possesses a reciprocal duty to protect them. Without this in place, there would not be a thing as a society or maybe even a Nigeria to narrow it down;life according to Thomas Hobbes will be short, nasty and brutish.
Ronald Reagan opined, “government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.” But ours is a nation caught in the trauma of wanton killing and destruction of properties of innocent citizens. The volume of conflicts, wars, violence, destruction of lives and properties and general insecurity are overwhelming. There seem to be no good news from anywhere. Where have we gone wrong to find ourselves in such dark cold corner?
Our Government must stand up to its responsibilities and address the incessant killings and belligerence facing the nation. In the words of Barack Obama “If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost.”It will be stressing the obvious to state that confidence is lost on this current administration, while we thought we are winning the war against Boko Haram, we have been greeted with issues of herdsmen routing villages, maiming and killing innocent unharmed citizens and destroying properties and farmlands amidst other violent actions daily.
The attitude of the government shows little or lack of seriousness at all on their part to brace up to these challenges that threaten our corporate existence as an entity. The government cannot keep dancing to the drums of war being beating by these insignificant few who are trying to jeopardize its plan of diversifying the economy through agriculture. It is about time the government start taking responsibilities, we cannot continue to point accusing fingers. The issue of herdsmen is a bane to the nation’s economy, especially for a country on the road to diversifying her economy. We must tackle it headlong,because hunger is imminent if the farms are desolate. Just recently the President speaking from the Abuja House accused Gaddafi of training the herdsmen, is that what we need at this point? If his statement is correct, does anything stop him from exercising the powers in Section 2 of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended and declaring them a terrorist group pursuant to section 1 (2)(b)(II)and(III), (c) (i) and (III) of the Act the same way he backed the prince of the Nigerian Army to so declare the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) whom we don’t know with killings unlike this heralds of death and blood sucking visitors?
Our security apparatuses must be focused on safeguarding lives and properties, which require more dedication to duties and avoidance of any trace of shady alignments with or tolerance of deadly groups or miscreants. More needs to be done. Michael Steele will say “you can have all the gun control laws in the country, but if you don’t enforce them, people are going to find a way to protect themselves. We need to recognize that bad people are doing bad things with these weapons. It’s not the law-abiding citizens; it’s not the person who uses it as a hobby.” We must avoid a situation where people have to engage in a free for all to protect themselves. The security agencies must sit up in their duty of protecting the people, fighting crime and defend our territorial integrity if we must continue to tag along with sovereign states on the global terrain.
The youthful population have their share of this bane, and must be cautious and avoid been tools in the hands of some selfish individuals. We must shun all forms of violence, and be bold enough to refuse any enticement or inducement to engage in criminality. It is about time to rise and fight for the course of our great land. God bless Nigeria, Good People, Great Nation.