Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has faulted Politicians over the reemergence of the activities of unknown gunmen and the current insecurity in the South East zone.
According to Apostle Emmanuel Agomuo, the CAN Chairman, Abia State, politicians who deploy hoodlums for some dirty jobs during electioneering period, and cease to empower them afterwards, should be held responsible for the worsening insecurity in the region.
He said contrary to accusations by security agencies that members of IPOB are behind the disheartening development, hoodlums deployed by politicians might be the real masks behind the veil. The cleric noted that hoodlums had since hijacked the situation in the South-East to unleash trouble on innocent citizens.
He criticized greedy politicians who arm and deploy the services of hoodlums during electioneering periods but cease to meaningfully empower them afterwards; hence most of them resort to criminality. According to him, the hoodlums when they have no legal means of livelihood, resort to criminality and terrorism using the weapons given to them by wicked politicians.
“I don’t think IPOB is behind this barbarity. These are the bad boys politicians use for elections. After using them, they fail to empower them and that is why they go back into criminality. Politicians who recruit these hoodlums are to be held responsible for the mess in the South-East.”
The CAN boss implored security agencies not to be narrow-minded in their efforts to investigate the real sources of the monster but to be open to all possibilities.
An activist, Comrade Kindness Jonah criticized the resurgent and continuous killing in the South-East zone, imploring the government at the center to adequately punish those arrested in the operation to serve as a lesson to others. He faulted security agencies for not revealing unknown gunmen captured during operation for the public to know their identity
Comrade Jonah suggested that the government should establish security operational bases in all the village squares in the South-East to improve the fight against the insurgency. He reported that unknown gunmen are those hired by the Nigerian government to cause trouble in the South-East.
It is true that “Igbo fear killing and shedding of blood so one can ask: how can an Igbo man that dreads bloodshed, open fire and kill anybody on sight in the market square? How can? So, to stop the evil activities of gunmen in the South-East, the onus is on the government at the center to adequately punish those insurgents captured in operation as a deterrent.
“Also, commensurate legal sentencing should be meted to defaulters. Unknown gunmen captured in operation, should be unmasked for the public to see. Vigilantes as security operatives should work in tandem with the police and military operatives to fish out these dissidents,” Jonah said.
A former Commissioner of Transport in Abia State, Ekele Nwaohanmuo, in his words, said that the South-East governors have failed in their duties to secure lives and property and must think out of the box to stop the unending violence in the zone.
Nwaohanmuo bewailed that the fight for Biafra by IPOB has been hijacked by criminals who unleash violence on the people under the guise of agitation for Biafra and freedom for their detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
He further said that everybody, including Igbo elders and governors, are now scared of speaking out and taking drastic measures to stop the violence.
In his words: “I think the solution to stop these killings is to re-orientate the minds of the youths to do meaningful things with their lives. The government should invest more in job creation and skills acquisition and address the marginalization of the Igbo. Lack of employment and the feeling of marginalization by the Igbo are the major problems behind youth violence.
“In Nigeria today, youths who have gone to school can’t get jobs. Daily, more people are graduating without the government doing anything to provide jobs. Providing rice, wrapper and handouts for people is not empowerment or employment. People are aggrieved with the state of affairs in Nigeria. Corruption has messed up everything. This is dangerous, we can’t continue this way.
“The IPOB struggle has been hijacked by criminal elements; something must be done urgently to address the situation. Those causing the problems and killing people are not the people who started the agitation. Criminals have hijacked the agitation. There exists an army of unemployed youths, those who have graduated with no jobs to engage them and others who lack parental upbringing. Majority of such people are readily available for violence. This is the problem we have at hand. These people must be made to understand that violence will never give us Biafra.
“What the IPOB has done or is doing, is adversely affecting the Igbo. The truth is that the South-East governors are even afraid. What we are saying is that the way the IPOB is going about it is not proper. Many Igbo families have been killed or affected in one way or the other. The economy of the South-East is steadily on the decline. Our governors are even afraid, but they need to take drastic measures to end the situation. They must remember that they don’t live in isolation, and the boys can even come after them. Everybody is afraid because anyone could be attacked.
“But I am also of the opinion that you can’t blame the governors for their perceived silence or cautiousness in the matter. What do we even want the governors to do? They are not in control of the Police or the Army. The Federal Government is in control of the security forces. When the security forces aren’t doing much in tackling the situation, what do you expect the governors who are just titular heads to do?
“Most of our governors in the South-East are not doing well and the criminals have seized the opportunity to torment the people.”
For a retired Chief Superintendent of Police in Imo State, Chukwudi Nwokoro, dialogue still remains the best option to address the trouble in the region.
Nwokoro portrayed the situation in the region as a guerilla kind of war which needs a carrot and stick approach, cautioning that nobody ever completely wins such a war.
According to the retired police officer, since the Federal Government has maintained that IPOB and ESN are responsible for the violence, they should have either directly or through emissaries involve the leaders of the groups in a discussion with a view to making some concessions that will not destroy national security.
He made reference to the issue of militancy in the Niger-Delta which former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua adopted dialogue to address by offering them amnesty.
According to Nwokoro, he had expected President Muhammadu Buhari to apply such an approach, including yielding to the proposed political solution, in addressing the issue of the detained leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu.
However, he pleaded to those behind the attacks in the South-East to apply wisdom and end the mess, stating that no wise person destroys his own.
“I still believe that dialogue is the best option for the security issue in the South-East. This is a kind of guerilla war, and nobody ever wins guerilla war completely because you don’t just know when they will strike next.
“Applying the carrot and stick approach is still the best way to deal with guerilla war, except when such approach fails. War does no one any good.
“It was a similar kind of issue in the Niger-Delta some years ago, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua applied the best approach to deal with it by offering them amnesty. Today, it is a settled issue. And remember, the amnesty came after the Federal Government had applied force to quell the militancy but did not succeed.
“I had expected President Muhammadu Buhari to apply such an approach in dealing with the issue in the South-East. Many have called for a political solution in handling the issue of Nnamdi Kanu; this would have gone a long way in quelling the situation.
“I must appeal to those behind this violence to think twice. You don’t destroy your own. No wise person will ever do that. We have lost much due to this violence. This is the time to pause and think twice,” Nwokoro said.