President Muhammadu Buhari has commenced state visit to troubled areas in the country ostensibly to get a first hand information about issues throwing up discontentments leading to loss of lives.
He is scheduled to visit Benue, Plateau, Taraba and Rivers states in no particular order. He had already gone to Taraba and Plateau as at yesterday.
The President’s resolve to visit the troubled areas came after his critics have alleged that he was unperturbed by reports of several killings, especially those perpetrated by herdsmen. But it’s better late than never as his visit will calm a lot of nerves.
The multi-level consultations expected to be undertaken by the President will undoubtedly go a long way in resolving the crises and give sense of belonging to those hitherto with feelings that the President had neglected them.
Armed with a comprehensive reports on the activities of criminal elements in the country, the President will do well by consulting with community leaders, including the traditional rulers. Those at the grassroots are likely to avail the President required information needed to address the nation’s security challenges once and for all.
Apart from the Presidential visit to hotbed of violent killings, convening Town Hall meetings by relevant agencies where eye-witnesses to the modus operandi of the killer herdsmen would give vital information may be of help.
Again, the local people, farmers and herders, who can volunteer information to relevant agencies should be encouraged and protected. Information regarding the routes of the marauders and their hide-outs could come from the locals.
The impact made by the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) in decimating the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno state can not be under-estimated. Replicating such in curtailing the marauding militia masquerading as herders could be helpful. This goes to mean that security is everybody’s business.
The government has done well in its management of the militancy in the Niger Delta. Continuous engagement of the region’s leaders in Port-Harcourt would further strengthen the trust and understanding between the federal government and the people of the region.
Apart from consultation, continuous funding of the developmental projects like the East-west road, the Maritime University and host of others will give the people the sense of belonging. Dialoguing with the leaders of the region and negotiating certain demands made by Pan Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF) and other reasonable pressure groups would be a pathway to peace in that region.