By Stanley Onyekwere
A group monitoring the Herdsmen/Farmers Crisis in Nigeria has alleged that members of the National Assembly are out to scale up public anger and frustrate the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and his security team over the activities of terrorists in the country.
The group under the aegis of the Middle Belt Conscience Guard described the summon of the President by the National Assembly as a “sham with hidden objectives”
Addressing journalists in Abuja, Prince Raymond Enero, National President of the group said the group will not hesitate to commence recall proceedings against any member of the National Assembly found to be exploiting the security crises for personal gains.
According to him, members of the National Assembly continue to play the ostrich and deny their own roles in producing the conditions and actors that have turned certain parts of the country into veritable war zones because of political ambitions.
He said in other countries, patriotic lawmakers would have come up with robust legislations to counter perceived security threats to their country.
“But that is apparently something that is too much to ask of our legislators whose only interest is returning themselves to the chambers at the next election to continue earning jumbo allowances.
“For the avoidance of doubts, our expectations are that a responsible parliament would have by now legislated on: Preventing terrorism financing through NGOs and other seemingly harmless groups that foreign interests are using to torment Nigeria, solving the lingering farmers/herders’ clashes and to criminalize the influx of arms bearing migrants from neighbouring nations.”
He said other measures the National Assembly should have taken includes to stop the bypassing of the constitution by state governments that set up militia groups, financing the Nigerian Military to a point where most of its hardware requirement can be locally produced as well as exploit the possibility of making military service mandatory for persons of certain demographics.
He said it is therefore unfair for the same people to turn around and blame President Buhari for the security challenges when they themselves have failed in the role.
According to Enero, the extent of the desperation among these lawmakers is laid bare by their demonization of a military that has done more than they have in sustaining Nigeria as a democratic nation.
We find it most unfortunate that the members of the National Assembly will villify the military that has sacrificed so much to enforce peace and security in the country.
He said it appears that the lawmakers are out to grandstand so that they can appear vibrant to their constituents and be marketable for the elections.
He said the group will not allow any politician to use the security challenges as the excuse for political brigandage, saying it is totally unacceptable.
He also commended the recommendation by the National Economic Council (NEC) to ban the movement of herdsmen in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Kaduna and Plateau.
He however urged that such ban should be enforced by the Army and other security agencies to ensure that some state governments do not use it as an excuse to re-activate the militias they earlier put in place to back their state-sanctioned cattle rustling.
According to him, deliberate efforts must be made to ensure citizens in the affected areas do not resort to self-help in implementing the proposed ban.