New Telegraph

Return of Evil: Tinubu Must Show Political Will –Ethnic Leaders

•Restructuring Only Way Out, Say Ohanaeze, INC

•Fifth Columnists at Work –Ijaw Youth Congress

Ethnic Nationalities in Nigerians have described the current spate of kidnapping, hostage-taking, banditry as well as killings as the return of evil, stating that the enemies of the state hold Nigeria by the jugular. Multiple sources as well as Return of Evil: Tinubu must show political will –Ethnic leaders the leaders of the socio-political groups who spoke with Sunday Telegraph while reacting to the last week’s abduction and subsequent killings of two monarchs in Ekiti State, as well their counterpart in Kwara State, not only condemned the dastardly act but called on the Federal Government to go after the marauders and bring them to book. One of the Sources conversant with happenings in the nation’s political landscape said there is more to it than meets the eye. The Source who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “Bandits and kidnappers hold Nigeria by the jugular. There is more to it than the consequences of the past’s in- eptitudes and the present’s tentativeness.”

He said the siege on Ekiti is also an indictment on the past and the present governments in Ekiti State, which did not do enough to secure that territory from marauders and from infiltration of the people known to be bandits and unknown herds- men because of the nearness of parts of the boundary to Kogi State. The routes – Oke Ako axis), where those traditional leaders were killed have been known to be one of the most dangerous parts of Ekiti State. These people run through it and virtually, bandit, killing and taking hostages- kick and run, and when they hit, they run back to Kogi State. It is a sign that the government took another look at its security apparatus. We are not sure that they are doing what they should do. They should do more.

Beyond this, Sources in the security circle who spoke with Sunday Telegraph said that the Fifth Columnists who are disgruntled with the way the President is handling the economic issue are the ones behind the renewed and incessant attacks. They are doing that to distract him. One of the Sources said: “But the president has vowed to deal with them. During two security meetings, he gave the service chiefs match- ing orders to return fire for fire. The ones in charge of the Abuja – Kaduna highway highways have the mandate to clear bandits, hoodlums and kidnappers. They are showing them pepper. What then is the way out? The foremost Pan-Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo through its National Publicity Secretary, Dr. Alex Ogbonnia, Ohanaeze said that tragic news of the killing of an individual or two which in the past commanded attention to newspaper headlines no longer means anything to people today as stories of mass murder, killing of royal fathers and kidnapping of school children have today become the order of the day.

Ogbonnia said: “Nigeria is something that is becoming nondescript in the years ahead. Look at the exchange rate of our Naira now with the Dollar! So, coming back to your question, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has not changed their position on the need for the restructuring of the polity. Our position on that is very clear, it is clear because this is the only federal system where we have one central security architecture providing the federal, the state, then local and the communities, this is the only federal system in the whole world where such a thing obtains. “In an ideal federal system, the federal government is supposed to have their security architecture, we have that of the state, we have the local, and you have the community. Then within the community, or other places, the local government, you still have corporate organisations such as the university that should have their inter- national security mechanism.

“This is how it’s supposed to be. For a long time, Ohanaeze has been drumming it up, but it appears it has not penetrated the federal government I want to believe that Tinubu will not close his ears to it. Speaking in the same vein, the National Publicity Secretary of, Ijaw National Congress (INC), Izonebi Oyake- megbegha, called for the creation of State Police. He said: “The killing is going on in the North, West and South, we condemn that but we are also surprised that as the first constitutional responsibility of the government to ensure that the citizens are being secured, they are not doing so.” “It is rudely surprising that the government is not taking care of that. I think there is a need to overhaul the whole system, particularly the security sector. We are calling for local policing and local security. The state should have security because if there are criminals, I’m sure that it will be easier to identify criminals. After all, it is within the locality.

It will be easier to secure the various localities by the indigenes from those particular places. Also weighing in, National Publicity Secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Bedford Berefa said: “What is happening is a calculated attempt to undermine the present government. “Of course, the government has not shown nationalism in trying to address the economic downturn in the country. It has been a lopsided ar- rangement and of course, the minister for Federal Capital Territory his flippant comment and attitude towards his duty has aggravated some level of anger and animosity from the northern part of this country. “That is what has translated to this ugly increase in the level of insecurity across the country particularly in Abuja. You can see that 80% of insecurity cases that you hear oftentimes are from the northern part of the country due to politically motivated factors. “So, the President must show political will and balance.

He must not necessarily dance to the tune of the northern cabals as the case may be because you can see that some persons are making demands that the president has to release the man that he arrested. So that has translated to the level of insecurity. “Have you noticed that these insecurity challenges are mainly in the North East and the South-South and South-West you notice minimal insecurity challenges? So, it is a politically motivated incident that must be attacked via political will. “The President must show resilience, and commitment and must carry all the groups along. If you see the South- South we are peace-loving people even though we are marginalized in the apportioning of appointments. So, you see that it is eighty percent South West and look at the CBN and FAAN that want to move some departments to Lagos. Those are the factors that have created the challenges.

“These decisions were taken without necessary consultation, without consulting all the stakeholders across the country. It is just VETO power so that has aggravated a lot of things. So, my advice to Mr. President should show some political will and caution his ministers and be careful in trading words.”

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